I remember being in the A lps when I was about 11 for a skiing holiday with my parents and
thinking that I liked getting away from the city life.
I am still searching, but Mendoza in western A rgentina comes close. Great climate, terrific ice cream, beautiful parks and the vineyard tours aren’t bad either. The way of life suits me, everyone is very relaxed and open. It is easy to spend the day in the park thinking of great plans and future expeditions.
I have been to a fair number of places that would perhaps rank in the top ten of most travellers’ lists. There are a few places along the Karakoram Highway that definitely take the cake. A ny place where dishes in a ‘restaurant’ are cleaned with diverted sewerage
from the street wins it for me.
They are people who have an outline of what they would like to achieve, but are flexible to change. I always create a basic structure to every trip, otherwise I feel like I am not squeezing enough in. There are always so many things to do and see. I watch so many travellers from Katmandu and N epal who do not have a plan and consequently end up wasting so much time and seeing nothing.
People who are travelling the world on a dollar a day. I like good food and having fun is a top priority. Sitting anywhere and cooking on my camping stove in the corner of the room is not my cup of tea.
Carlo B uhler, one of the world’s greatest alpinists. He was the reason I decided to become a climber. I read an article of his when I was very young in a climbing magazine. He discussed the hardships in climbing. He never said the summit was the achievement; it was the first step on the mountain. The fact you tried was what counted.
Falling 60 feet onto a ledge while off route on a big wall in California and cracking my tailbone and several lumbar vertebrae. I was about 500 feet off the ground hanging below my climbing partner. The fall had caused all the climbing equipment to pull out of the wall and we both were attached to the wall by one single piece of protection. We had to abseil down and then walk a considerable way back to the tent. Unfortunately, I was walking so slowly that I had to spend the night out at 14,000 feet in O ctober. It was a long night and a cold bed of rocks.
I really like P ortishead and B ob Marley.
The ease of communications. I am away for so much of the year on expeditions – it is great to be able to keep in touch with people. I also like how quickly one can get around. I have been able to climb mountains in central N epal one month and then be in northern
Pakistan the next.
People putting ambition before friendship. I have witnessed this often on the mountain. Many climbers have become very selfish and are willing to let other people do all the hard work for them and then when it suits them they take advantage of everybody else’s hard work.
A What was the first overseas place you visited?
B Who is the most memorable person you have encountered?
C What worries you about the world today?
D What music do you like to listen to?
E What essentials do you always pack?
F Where is your idea of hell?
G What is the highest mountain you have climbed so far?
H What do you enjoy about the world today?
I Who are your worst travel companions?
J Worst moments?
K Where is your idea of heaven on Earth?
L Who are your best travel companions?