In my youth I hitched all over Europe but I would not recommend it nowadays. Then I grew up and couldn't afford to take the time out that hitching took or afford to take holidays abroad with kids. Nowadays I have realised I have seen more of Europe than my own country so don't worry tengu there is plenty here to see. Even Ireland is fabulous and there are places there where you realy do feel like you are abroad when everyone is speaking in the Irish.
I love the place and would love to go back. Coach ferry and bus is fairly easy from the UK so no need to fly. I reckon the ferry makes it more of an adventure anyway. Then there are the Scottish mountains the Norfolk broads or even the Isle of Man. So many places to go... so little time walk the south west coast path and you have climbed Everest 4 times in the combined elevations
I have lived and worked between London and Cornwall south of the Gloucester line most of my life. Travelled extensively around Wales Ireland and the Isle of Man . and along the south coast from Brighton to Cornwall. There is a lot left to discover.. oh I once went to the Midlands. .. the lake district, and I've also been to Birmingham and Coventry for a weekend and spent a day and a night in Manchester for some filming.....not enamoured with the city life but loved the lake district. Spent the last 40 +years in the southwest uk and wouldn't want to live permanently anywhere else.
When I went to sweden I thought it was beautiful even though it was in black and white and covered in some white stuff.... and very very cold... minus 30 at night!
Still got large areas of Ireland to explore and of course bonny Scotland. But I don't like to travel alone and nobody I know seems to have any sense of adventure anymore. (anyone want a knackered 60 yr old travel buddy? I'm happy to slum it a bit...( youth hostel) or hammock camp. )
The UK has loads to offer. I've travelled and trekked quite extensively but we have some of the best coastline in the world. The variety (based on our fantastic geological variety in the UK) of coastal scenery is second to none. We still have small patches of wilderness too.
But, we are an overcrowded country and you have to work to get away from the masses by choosing when and where very carefully. I regret that some of the places I used to enjoy have become far too popular so, we hermits, are being driven into smaller and smaller lonely places
I visited Suffolk for the first time in my life last year; what a fantastic county - so there's still plenty for me to find in the UK
Mont Blanc is the next valley along from where I live and several people die there every year, climbing, skiing, walking, whitewater rafting or just hanging out. Even at the end of our little valley walkers regular die. Last year a wingsuited basejumper got pulverised on the rocks half a mile away from my front door and that section of the valley was closed whilst the rescue services searched for all his scattered pieces. Some people are totally stupid sometimes (or they take measured risks and are caught out) but the mountains need total respect at all times. I have heard that people step backwards off mountains when taking selfies of themselves. Good luck to them, that's what I say. It is just unfortunate that the locals have to pick up the pieces, they are heroes for sure, I have seen them in action and they def. risk their own lives to save others. That is why I think going up Everest like it is a jolly in the park on a Sunday afternoon is totally pants. It's that lack of respect for nature and for other people, thinking we can 'conquer it' that got us in this mess in the first place.
I pledged to give up air travel for good about a month ago. I have one more return flight to take (to the Bushmoot in August - I booked the flight at the beginning of the year) and then that's it for me. No more flying. I am concentrating on my own back yard and the forest where I live. Admittedly it is a beautiful part of the world I live in, very harsh but awesome nevertheless - there are of course rubbish bits to it too, like anywhere. I am taking my time to stop and look at the wonder of small things - insects, slugs, bark on trees etc. It is all fascinating and so very rewarding to see what we think of as 'mundane' in a new light. I even spent three hours behind the local shopping mall the other day having a good explore in an attempt to embrace what I have got right here. I was fed up with talking about this environmental thing constantly to people but then not actually doing anything about it. So I decided enough was enough. It truly sickens me that people feel they need to go to exotic places to have an 'adventure' as @Woody girl said - what kind of adventure is it to go up Everest like that, when practically everything is provided for you, even a sherpa, oxygen etc? It is like you are going to these places but staying in your own little safe bubble. They will be building a new Disneyland on it soon or Centre Parcs or something like that.
It's worth having a read of Alan Arnette's blog (http://www.alanarnette.com/) if anyone is interested in what's going on at Everest. Alan is an accomplished mountaineer and well respected in the community - his blog has become a bit of a go to guide for Everest and I enjoy following it during the climbing season. He has documented the deaths on Everest and the wider Himalaya mountains this season and the reasons behind those deaths. I think the weather has been a big factor in this years deaths as it has forced the climbers to move up the mountain inside two or three relatively short weather windows. Alan's blog does also highlight inexperience as another critical factor and this is a crying shame.
Some of the expedition companies are very strict in who they take to Everest and will, quite rightly (in my opinion), stipulate that you should at least have proven you can climb at altitude and be competent when using crampons and jumar ascending devices. However, it would seem that other companies and guides are much less stringent and these are the groups that suffer with the deaths.
I don't think you'll ever stop people wanting to conquer our highest peaks, but I do wonder if the traffic and associated risk can be managed more effectively by being more stringent with the climbers (having appropriate experience) and limiting the numbers. Ben Fogle (summited last year) made an interesting point in a recent press article (one of the broadsheets) about limiting the numbers of climbers by adopting a ballot system (much like the London marathon), that could work, the only thing stopping it is the Nepalese Government.
As for waste, I wonder if some people's perceptions may be exaggerated or mistaken. Alan's blog covers this too and I think the China Tibet Mountaineering Association should be applauded to some extent as they are reportedly managing this more effectively. I understand that this more stringent and perhaps 'ethical' approach to waste management is one of the reasons why some expedition companies use the Chinese route rather than the more crowded Nepalese side. Since 2015, each and every climber on the Chinese side (going up the North East ridge) must return with a minimum of 8.5kg of rubbish (I believe that human waste is also accounted for here!). Fines are imposed on the climbers for every kilo that they fall short of this target. Nepal also adopt similar rules but I perceive that these are not enforced as effectively.
On a more positive note - check out Nirmal Phurja who took the photo on page 1. He's an ex British special forces and gurkha officer trying to climb all 14 8000m peaks within a 7 month period (the current record is several yrs!!). He started in April and has already climbed six including some of the more challenging peaks while also undertaking two rescues of stricken climbers who were left to die above 8000m and spoken very critically of the companies that failed to manage the risk/support the climbers. In doing so he is raising funds for British military and Nepali charities. For the next phase he's taking on the 8000m peaks in the Karokoram range (K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrums, Nanga Pharbat) - that will be a huge challenge as K2 is an altogether different beast.
Interviews suggest that the Sherpa have a good grasp of the situation in this day and time, maybe better than anyone else.
Inexperience for maybe -50C & wind plus lack of fitness for 7000m+ are serious liabilities to all climbers near them.
The weather will turn before long, the window will close.
I hope that's enough to chase them all off the mountain.
I'm not the least bit sorry, Janne. It isn't stupid and it isn't crap.
I can understand the thinking that instigates a trip like that.
It hits you = "Hey! we bagged that one in summer, lets go in winter!"
Day 2, you wake up to 10m visibility in fog and it never quits. Your compass is your friend.
The rime ice builds on your pack, we knock it off eachother as we switch ends on the rope.
However, the tarnish on the big hills is believing that you can buy the top.
My kids climb in the Andes of Peru. They're smart with guides, many turn-backs, too.
I'm more worried about them surfing (aka trolling for sharks).
At least there was high altitude human physiology research to be conducted in the old days.
The saddest part of all is that we are seeing that research bear fruit in this climbing season.