Typical straight-talking advice from climber Andy Kirkpatrick,

I’d recommend starting off by doing the 14 Peaks in Wales over a weekend, then the Bob Graham in the Lakes over a longer weekend, and then the Ramsey round in Scotland.  After that try ticking off all the Munros and all the routes in Classic Rock.  While undertaking this try reading as much about the history of British climbing, all the classics.  After that try and tick off all the classic Scottish winter routes, especially the classics on Ben Nevis, as well as the more remote ones in the Highlands.

By now you’ll be pretty solid, so it’s time to go to the Alps. How about ticking off all the 4000 metre peaks over a few years, as well as throwing in some ice climbing and ski mountaineering in Norway?

The North Face of the Eiger, Matterhorn and Grande Jorasses should come next (at least one of them to be climbed in winter), giving you a boost for a trip to Alaska to climb Denali, and one to climb Agoncagua.  You could tick off some more seven summits if you want, but you’ve just done the cheapest two, so I’d leave it at that (all the other tick lists are simply short hand for amazing climbs and adventures).

By now you’ll be ten, maybe 20 years down the line from starting up Snowdon, and you’ll now have had enough climbing and incredible days on the hill to know that Everest is a waste of time.

You’re no longer a clueless dreamer, but someone who understands the harsh reality of the mountains as well as their joy.

For most people, no real happiness can come from climbing Everest, only heartache.

Spend the cash on climbs for your soul not your ego.

Read Andy’s superb blog here.

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