About Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

BestHike hiking photos

I’ve uploaded all the hiking photos from my recent 2 months in Patagonia.

Check those out here. There are thousands in the BestHike archive.

Most are Creative Commons licensed so can be used in other projects.

The BEST of BestHike photos (about 1800) are included in one album. That’s the best starting point.

Mirador del Pliegue Tumbado, Fitz Roy, Argentina

Ascent – Chris Bonington’s autobiography

In 2016 Sir Chris Bonington updated his 1989 biography.

He added accounts of his later expeditions to Greenland, India, Morocco and his re-ascent of the Old Man of Hoy in 2014, with new climbing companion Leo Houlding. The Old Man climb was filmed by BBC. Chris was not at all sure he could still do it.

Bonington was one of the few high altitude mountaineers to survive the kind of climbs he did. AND he’s an excellent writer.

He’s known a lot of tragedy including the drowning death of a young son.

Though known as one of the great expedition leaders he had many die under that leadership.


All that said, I did enjoy this book. And recommend it to everyone regardless of whether or not you have an interest in mountaineering.

Boys of Everest by Clint Willis

The Boys of Everest: Chris Bonington and the Tragedy of Climbing’s Greatest Generation (2007) is the full title.

Of the famed high altitude climbers I’ve always related most to Bonington. He seemed to be the smart, articulate and careful one.

Not so, I learned. There were a dozen times Chris could have / should have died like so many of the others.

Though reviews have been mixed, I did enjoy this book. Especially the audio version reader James Adams.

… courage, achievement, and heartbreaking loss tells of Bonington’s Boys, a band of climbers who reinvented mountaineering during the three decades after Everest’s first ascent. …

Next I’ll be reading Bonington’s biography – Ascent (2017)

Altavista Trail out of Villa O’Higgins, Chile

trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

There are 3 hikes promoted out of Villa O’Higgins.

Most popular is the short Mirador (Viewpoint) Trail taking you up above town.

Few do the Altavista Trail. On a perfect day I saw only 3 other hikers.

To find the trailhead walk out of town and over the bridge.

Oddly, in 2019, you had to climb over a fence to get to the signed trailhead.

The trail winds up and along the Mayer river. Easy going.

On a clear day there are terrific views to surrounding pristine wilderness.

As skies were starting to cloud up, I stopped at the second and final viewpoint marked on the Maps.me route. El Loco.

Back at the bridge I bumped into some folks from Argentina who’d I’d met on a previous hike. They drove me back to Villa O’Higgins. Nice.

new Torres del Paine trekking guidebook

Paine in Chile is one of the best hiking destinations in the world. No question.

But foreigners are endlessly frustrated trying to organize their trip from abroad. Many — including myself — show up on a hope and a prayer trying to make it happen onsite.

Check our Paine Circuit Information page.

Try downloading Trekking Torres del Paine (2016) by Rudolf Abraham long in advance of your trip. It’s available for Kindle.