Love Letters to the Mountains…

I adore Mountaineering and I adore Writing.  Inspired by a meeting at the Kendal Mountain Festival, I’ve written a number of Love Letters to some of the Mountains I’ve climbed over the past 30 years.  They’re a varied selection of peaks spanning the Himalayas, Africa, Asia, The Arctic and Europe.

I hope you enjoy them…

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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”

Travelling Friends and the Otter Trail…


Years ago I said that I would only ever visit a place once, unless it impressed the hell out of me.  Well, I’ve grown to love South Africa, and moreover I have a wonderful friend there – Sibusiso Vilane.  I spoke about friendship in my last blog and how the mountains have a way of bonding people together, and so it was that Sibusiso and I met back in 2006… Continue reading “Travelling Friends and the Otter Trail…”

Seven Peaks – Seven Islands part VI – Iran Jaya


Here’s the sixth miniblog about my Seven peaks – Seven Islands challenge…

Carstensz Pyramid (4884m-16023ft) is a classic in the mountaineering world.  First sited in 1623 by Dutch explorer Jan Carstensz, it is the highest island peak in the world.

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A South African Saga part 1 – Getting drenched in the Drakensburgs…


The flight to Johannesburg is nothing like going to the far reaches of SE Asia, but still I felt exhausted when I arrived.  I had been working and presenting hard for the last few months and it was beginning to show.  Also, a nasty chest infection had caught hold of me in Austria recently and didn’t want to let go.  A few days out in the mountains should do me good then…

Continue reading “A South African Saga part 1 – Getting drenched in the Drakensburgs…”

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”