Simon Akam

Simon Akam

Simon Akam is a British writer. A contributing writer for the Economist’s 1843 magazine, his work has also appeared in Outside, GQ, Bloomberg Businessweek, The New York Times, and The Guardian. He is the author of The Changing of the Guard: The British Army Since 9/11.

Published

The Elite Mountaineers Who Climb the Alps to Hunt for Rare Crystals

Climate change is melting the glaciers and permafrost of the Mont Blanc massif, revealing crystals hidden in pockets once covered in snow. Simon Akam tagged along on an expedition with one of the area’s most legendary hunters, a daring French alpinist who completes dangerous climbs to discover specimens worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Simon Akam
Jun 8, 2021

You Won't Pass Chamonix's Mountain-Guiding Test

Le Probatoire is one of the toughest challenges in the outdoors, used for decades to pick alpine professionals in France's legendary hub of glacier skiing, climbing, and deadly terrain. Only the strongest make it, but Simon Akam wonders: Is selection by ordeal still the best way to groom competent guides?

Simon Akam
Nov 27, 2019

Braveheart Couldn't Handle This

Who knew that it’s easy to find great backcountry skiing in Scotland? Nobody, because it isn’t. But that doesn’t stop a committed group of hard-asses from clicking their boots and heading into the mud, rain, and heather in search of stoke.

Simon Akam
Oct 26, 2017