Jordan 2018 – Searching for a Desert Rose…

I’m a mountaineer.  I climb mountains, love mountains and speak about mountains.  People drive me as wild as I do them, because of my adventures, cock ups and rescues, but I travel to other places too.  I’ve bashed through dense jungles, crossed open plains and sailed oceans across the globe.  During late 2017 I decided that I needed a change.  The year had been a tough one and I was tired.  Tired physically, tired mentally and tired emotionally.  I needed a break, but wasn’t sure what to do.

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Uganda 2017 – To the the Mountains of the Moon, and Back… Part 2

We left the Bujuku Hut at 4am in our attempt to summit Mt. Speke 4890m (16.042ft).  Initially the terrain was thick bog and undergrowth, but this gave way to more open ground as the sun tried to break through the dense clouds.  We ascended a large scree field suffering faltering disability, reaching the ridge early morning.  This is where our problems began.  Thick rime ice had plastered the rocks, making what should have been a challenging scramble, impassable.  The only way we could summit was to circumnavigate the peak and approach it from the opposite side.  It’s all sounds so easy to read it here, but what followed was a two-hour slog up and down scree scattered boulders and exposed edges.  At least the clouds broke occasionally and allowed extensive views over the range and the tongue of the Ruwenzori Glacier.  This ice used to allow easy access to Ruwenzori Peak, but its retreat has made any ascent of the mountain a real challenge.  Few ever venture there now because of the loose rock and unstable ridge.

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Uganda 2017 – To the the Mountains of the Moon, and Back… Part 1

I rarely look for adventure.  Adventure finds me.  The years of scouring maps and magazines for interesting places are gone.  I’m extremely lucky to have wonderful friends across the world who share my passion for travel, as we love to share our experiences.  Sibusiso Vilane and myself met many years ago, climbing Carstensz Pyramid in Iran Jaya.  Since that day, we have been great friends.  Sibusiso has had some wonderful ideas, including cross the Drakensburgs and trekking the Otter Trail.  So when he said ‘how about climbing in the Mountains of the Moon in Uganda..?’  I leapt at the chance.  The Rwenzori’s were extensively explored during the colonial era and even starred in Rider Haggard adventure books.  The Idi Amin era saw much change, but people are back.  I have to admit however being surprised when asked to bring Wellington’s as well as an ice axe, crampons and mountain boots..! Continue reading “Uganda 2017 – To the the Mountains of the Moon, and Back… Part 1”

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


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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Himlung Diary part 2 – The Haunting…


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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Himlung Diary part 1 – Tragedy in the Snow…

I struggled to cram the last big of kit into my huge bag.  It wasn’t anything technical like crampons or ice screws, or vital like my first aid kit or medication, but that half bottle of Talisker I was determined to take into the mountains.  Eventually it slipped in, but I though to myself ‘after all these years, why do I still take so much stuff..?’  I was sure I’d got too much gear, but knew that Himlung was notorious for its cold weather.

Russia 2012 – The North side of Elbrus

Standing as the tallest mountain in Europe, Mt Elbrus 5,642m (18,510ft) is not a climb to be undertaken lightly. High winds and freezing temperatures make this one of the world most notorious peaks. The west peak was first climbed in 1874 by Florence Crauford Grove. Continue reading “Russia 2012 – The North side of Elbrus”

Tien Shan Unclimbed – Kyrgyzstan 2011


I travelled to the Kyrgyz Republic during July and August 2011 in search of empty country and unclimbed mountains.  That’s exactly what a found, but there is more to this beautiful and virtually unspoiled country than meets the eye…

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Nepal – 2009AD


Ama Dablam is one of the classic mountains of the Himalayas. It is technical, remote and full of mountaineering challenges. During October and November 2009 I took on the SW Ridge and pushed my climbing to the limit…

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Madagascar 2007 – Seventh Heaven

I boarded the plane with some trepidation as I departed for Madagascar. The final peak in my 7 x 7 challenge was my objective and if I could climb it I would set a British Record for Mountaineering…

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Ethiopia 2007 – The Roof of Africa

My first venture into Africa will certainly not be my last! Ethiopia is a diverse country with challenges galore. At times it all got a bit too much, but I saw ancient cultures at close hand and came home with some wonderful images burned into my mind…

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Indonesia 2006 – Sulphur, Stone & Ceremony

I returned to Sumatra to make another attempt on Gunung Kerinci, before flying to Papua to climb the hardest peak of my 7 x 7 challenge – Carstensz Pyramid. The climbing went so fast that I was left with ten days to spare, so I travelled across South Sulawesi and Central Java taking in the culture of the islands… Continue reading “Indonesia 2006 – Sulphur, Stone & Ceremony”

SE Asia 2005 – Warmer Climbs

Being back in the tropics was quite a change of climate from my last expeditions. I experienced jungle life at its best (and wettest), climbed high peaks and experienced differing cultures and customs. Volcanic activity halted one of my climbs and a boating accident almost cost me dear, but once again I have had an incredible adventure! Continue reading “SE Asia 2005 – Warmer Climbs”

Watkins Mountains 2004 – Arctic Peaks and Appendicitis

After climbing the two highest peaks in the Arctic and two Virgin Summits I was struck down with an illness which almost brought my trip to a halt. I recovered enough to get to Iceland, but from then on I was stuck in Hospital again! Continue reading “Watkins Mountains 2004 – Arctic Peaks and Appendicitis”

Baffin Island 2003 – Sane Mountaineering Decisions

The weather trapped us in a six day snowstorm, but we still managed to climb on this wonderful remote Island. The mountains seem to go forever, and with so many still unclimbed, this is a climbers paradise!

Named after the British explorer William Baffin – Baffin Island is one of the largest islands in the world. Continue reading “Baffin Island 2003 – Sane Mountaineering Decisions”

Island Peak 2002 – Climbing For Cancer Research UK

Standing at 6189m above sea level, Island Peak is a daunting challenge for anyone. But when you have suffered severe frostbite the climb becomes a dangerous venture into the unknown… Continue reading “Island Peak 2002 – Climbing For Cancer Research UK”

The Alps 2001 – Pastures New

Over two years since suffering severe frostbite I was back climbing in the mountains. I summited the Allalinhorn which stands 4027m high, climbed the 200m near vertical Chere Couloir, and scrambled over the Arete du Cosmiques…. Continue reading “The Alps 2001 – Pastures New”

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”

Bolivia 1998 – Andean Altitudes

South America holds one of the worlds greatest mountain ranges – The Andes. I stood on the banks of Lake Titicaca and stared toward the Condoriri Real. Within days I was standing at over 21,000ft on the summit of Illimani. It was one of the greatest moments of my life…

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