Coming of Age…

Reaching your 18th birthday is seen as a coming of age.  You can marry, drink, vote, serve on a jury and legally get a tattoo..!  My 18th birthday was marked with a disco.  It was 1987 and Rick Astley was riding high in the charts, as was Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley, The Bee Gees and most of the Stock, Aitken and Waterman stable.  The Compact Disc was launched and I was driving a 1977 Metallic Gold Morris Marina with a huge Ghetto Blaster across the back seat.  I thought I was cool…

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‘We Do Not Remember Days, We Remember Moments…’

…so wrote Italian Poet Cesare Pavese.  We may think that our minds are sharp and that we commit to memory everything that our senses detect, but when it comes to remembering, only certain moments appear.

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2016 – A Year For Time, Travel and Tingling Fingers…

I’m not a man to sit about, so during 2016 I travelled to South Africa, Greenland, Iceland, Italy, Denmark, Germany, Greece and Spain.  I took part in the ICEMAN Polar Race, walked the Otter Trail, spoke on two cruises and held down a full-time job.  Phew..!  I’m sure I slept at some point…

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Forcing Your Hand…

Frostbitten Hands

The phrase ‘The day we stop learning is the day we die’, may be old, but it’s true. I thought after 17 years I had learned all there was to know about my frostbite injuries, but I was wrong. Though the amputations were very visible, regular treatment kept my skin grafts in good condition, and all was well with the world. The last few months however, have taught me a hard lesson in reality.

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The ICEMAN Polar Race 2016 – Second Time Lucky..?

Looking-at-You

My feet had hardly settled from walking in South Africa, when another trip called.  I had been 33’ south on the Cape in late march and suddenly I was heading to Greenland, 72’ north. +30C was about to be replaced with -30C. I was tired, but thankfully organised for the ICEMAN Polar Ski Race

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Mountains of Friendship – The Seventh Frostbite Report…

Ian-&-I

I first started winter mountaineering when a group of work friends invited me to join them in Glencoe. That was over 20 years ago.  I was young, had dark brown hair, fingers and toes. Much has changed since those heady days, but my love of the hills has never been daunted. If anything its got worse… Continue reading “Mountains of Friendship – The Seventh Frostbite Report…”

Himlung Diary part 2 – The Haunting…

Icefall

One of my favourite ghost films is ‘The Haunting‘.  Based on the wonderfully written book by Shirley Jackson, it tells the story of a house which is haunted by a ghost you never see.  Door handles move and people feel strange presences, but there is no visible spectre.  Why am I writing about this when I’m mountaineering in Nepal..?  Well, an old ghost came to visit me on the hill one night…

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Don’t (always) believe what you read…

Nepal-Press

The modern world seems to rely on instant news media.  Satellite communications and Social Networking relay information around the globe within milliseconds, against the hours, days, weeks and even months that used to be required.  Though this has a good side, it can also cause unnecessary stresses and tensions, as my family found out recently…

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On the Edge – July 2014

Langdale-VW

The Kendal Mountain festival has traditionally been held in November, when nights are dark and the weather (usually) wet.  Things are changing, and a new festival ‘Kendal Mountain Festival On the Edge‘ has been launched for the weekend of July 25 – 27th 2014.

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Is modern communication destroying adventure..?

Here’s the TEDx Derby presentation I gave asking the question “Is modern communication is destroying adventure..?”  Whats do you think..?

You and Yours – Here’s Me and Mine…

Cairngorm-Plateau

The 2012/2013 Scottish winter season has caught the eyes of the press on many occasions, due to the high number of avalanche victims.  There have been 13 deaths so far, with Journalist (and ex MSP) Dorothy Grace-Elder attracting much attention with her views.  Today, she appeared on the Radio 4 programme You and Yours, with the opinion that all Mountaineers should hold rescue insurance.  Here’s what I think…

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Against All Odds…

During late 2012, I worked with Derbyshire filmmaker Nicola Harris on a project about my fateful climb on Mt. McKinley.

Here’s the film she has directed, shot and produced…

Ten top tips on how not to travel…

With the 2012 London Olympics here and the world travelling to see them, I thought I’d share my experiences in international travel. I have travelled over a quarter of a million miles across the world and back during my Expeditions, and seen some pretty frightening sights – mostly in airports! So, here’s my Ten Top Tips on how not to do international travel…

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Mt. McKinley 1999 – Once Bitten

Nothing could have prepared me for what the freezing cold of Alaska can do. I had just experienced the best 17 days climbing in my life, but the 18th cost me dear. Frostbite and exposure nearly killed me, but a dramatic mountain rescue saved my life, and began a journey I will never be able to forget… Continue reading “Mt. McKinley 1999 – Once Bitten”

Appreciate what you have…

You only have to walk down a city street or sit in a shopping centre to see one of the most destructive elements in modern society – the quest for more, more, more.  Why am I saying this?  Because society today never seems happy unless it can have the latest gadgets and accessories.  I have to ask ‘What happened to the simple things in life..?’

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Taking a risk…

Life is based on risk. We would not have been born unless our mothers took risks, yet the modern world seems to be hell bent on removing them. When I say removing, should I say eradicating them and stersalising life. We have evolved as human beings by taking risks – from planting the first crops to crossing the great oceans of our world.

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