Category archives for Mountaineering

Climber Remembers the Legendary Alex Lowe

“We knew it was going to happen one day. We just didn’t think it would be right at this point,” says alpinist Conrad Anker about learning that the bodies of his friends Alex Lowe and David Bridges had been discovered, still frozen inside a glacier at the foot of Shisha Pangma, an 8,000-meter peak in…

Can Two Climbers Improve Everest’s Bad Reputation?

The reputation of the world’s highest mountain has never been lower. Like today’s most heated political debates, there seems to be no middle ground when it comes to discussions about Everest. People are divided at polar extremes over whether Everest and all its aspirants represent everything great about humanity—or all that is wrong with it.…

Himalaya Scribe: ‘I Frighten a Lot of People’

The most intimidating person in Himalayan mountaineering is a 92-year-old American woman with a walker. Elizabeth Hawley (most often addressed as Miss Hawley) has lived in Kathmandu for nearly as long as Nepal has been open to foreigners. She was the first to keep good records of Himalayan expeditions and soon became the de facto…

After Two Deadly Years, Everest Climbers Gear Up for a Strong Season

Nepal has had the worst year imaginable. But even after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, political unrest that resulted in a five-month blockade, and the two deadliest years in the history of climbing on Mount Everest, this spring’s expedition season is set to be as busy as ever. Ang Kami Sherpa, 63, just arrived at Everest Base…

Climbers Make History Scaling ‘Killer Mountain’

A multinational team of three climbers reached the summit of Nanga Parbat in Pakistan around 3:40 p.m. on February 26, signifying the first time the 8,126-meter (26,660-foot) mountain has been climbed in winter. Since 1988, at least 30 different expeditions comprised of some of the most experienced alpinists in the world have tried and failed to…

This Sherpa Woman Is Our Adventurer of the Year

Adventure is sometimes criticized as being selfish—the pursuits of privileged people with time to burn. At National Geographic, our definition of adventure is a broad one, spanning exploration and conservation, the pushing of the boundaries of human potential, cultural boundary breaking, community building, and humanitarianism. Our 2016 Adventurer of the Year honorees reflect this diversity, from…

Everest: The Movie

For various reasons, the 1996 disaster on Everest retains a mythic status, even though far more climbers have died on the mountain in subsequent seasons, including the sixteen Nepali mountain workers who perished in the Khumbu Icefall in 2014. Everest is exhausting. Yeah, climbing the mountain takes a lot of energy, but watching the new…

Plan Your Next Himalayan Expedition Mindfully

So what now? Two devastating years on the busiest mountain in the Himalaya leaves many questions. The earthquakes in Nepal this season have had a devastating affect on the local people, particularly those in the mountainous regions of the country. The economic and emotional damage will be present for the foreseeable future and the loss…

Teen Climber Returns to Himalaya to Attempt to Everest, Lhotse, First Ski Descent

Matt Moniz became our youngest Adventurer of the Year at 12 years old when he climbed to the high points in all 50 United States in just 43 days. He is now 17 years old. In just a few hectic days, I’m off with climbing partners Willie Benegas and Jim Walkley for my second consecutive expedition…

Mountaineering’s Top Award Winners Announced—Including Rock Climbers Caldwell, Honnold

Three teams of climbers, including Americans Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold, will be honored with a Piolet d’Or, mountaineering’s highest award, during the ceremony that is scheduled to take place April 9 to 12 in Chamonix, France, and Courmayeur, Italy. “I’ve always joked that if I won a Piolet d’Or I’d retire from climbing,” said…