Alan Hinkes leaves for the 14th Mountain
Well respected explorer and mountaineer Alan Hinkes, who is sponsored by Berghaus, is officially launching his bid to become the first Britain to join the five mile high club, by appearing at The Ordnance Survey Outdoors Show, NEC on Friday 18 March 2005, before leaving to attempt his final 8000m peak - Kangchenjunga.
This is one of the most dangerous and testing records ever set by man (no British climber has thus far attempted, yet alone, achieved it) - more people have landed on the moon than achieved this distinction and many have lost their lives in search of it.
Hinkes knows Kangchenjunga well, having twice narrowly
failed to reach the summit in the past 5 years. First in 2000, he
was beaten back by huge snow falls and then while alone on his descent
back to base camp, a snow bridge collapsed smashing his arm, breaking
it. Two years later he contracted a virus and retired ill.
Challenge 8000 is Hinkes attempt to climb all 14 of the worlds highest mountains. So far he has summitted 13 including Everest and K2, but not without injury. The resourceful Hinkes has sustained numerous broken limbs as well as a prolapsed disc. In some cases he has had to return to a mountain several times before conquering it. In severe altitude the human body rapidly deteriorates and as rescue is not possible peaks over 8,000m have been named The Death Zone.
Hinkes will capture the moment he summits in his customary way of producing a picture of his daughter and grandson. The descent can be more dangerous than the ascent and only when Hinkes safely reaches base camp can he really celebrate his achievement, usually with a plate of eggs and chips.
Hinkes will leave the UK on 22nd March. It will take 2 weeks of arduous trekking to reach base camp. After 3-4 weeks of acclimatisation climbing he plans to summit between 10th 25th May depending on a weather window.
Kangchenjunga is the third highest peak in the world. This year is the 50th anniversary of the first ascent by Britons Joe Brown, George Band, Tony Streather and Norman Hardy (NZ).For over 15 years Alan Hinkes dedication and hard work have made him a worldwide legendary hero. This year will see him reach his ultimate goal and receive the much deserved adoration of the nation.
1987 Shisha Pangma