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Alan Hinkes

Alan Hinkes is the UK’s most successful extreme altitude mountaineer and is getting close to being the first Briton to climb all 14 of the 8,000m peaks in the world. 

“Challenge 8000” has already seen him reach the top of many of the world’s most famous and dangerous mountains, including Everest, K2 and Nanga Parbat.  In 1997, Alan hit the national headlines when he sneezed on excess flour from a chapatti while on Nanga Parbat and prolapsed a disc in his back.  He was in agony, trapped on the mountain for 10 days before struggling down lower to rescue.  Alan recovered and went back to summit on Nanga Parbat later the same year.

This spring 2003 he is expected to be back on Kangchenjunga. His summit of Annapurna last year in record time was something few could achieve. Alan has completed 12 of the 14 8000 meter peaks, with Kangchenjunga and Dhaulagiri to go!

Alan Hinkes Annapurna 2002

Alan Hinkes: Kangchenjunga 2000

Alan Hinkes Spring Makalu 99: Dispatches in reverse order are below...

ar3.jpg (4072 bytes)

Dispatch 5/25/99

ALAN HINKES, SUMMITS FIFTH HIGHEST MOUNTAIN IN THE WORLD - MAKALU (8470m). 

Alan Hinkes has been supported by outdoor clothing and equipment manufacturer Berghaus since 1984 and is the UK's top high-altitude mountaineer. He has now reached the summit of Makalu (8470m), the fifth highest mountain in the world and a harder climb than Everest. In doing so, Alan has set a new British record by pushing his total to eleven out of the world's fourteen highest mountains.

Alan has set himself one of the most challenging tasks for a mountaineer - to climb all fourteen of the world's highest mountains, which are all in the Himalaya or Karakorum. He has called this Challenge 8000 and has now climbed eleven of these mountains, including Everest and K2.

Alan set off from high base camp at 5700m on Thursday 20 May, climbing to camp 1 at 6500m for the first night. On Friday he climbed as high as camp 2 at Makalu La (7400m) and pushed as high as camp 3 at 7800m on Saturday, where he bivouacked for the night.

On Sunday 23 May he left at 5.30am and pushed hard for the summit at 8470m, which he reached at 2pm. He spent an hour on the summit before returning to camp 3.

"The last push to the summit was hard work and with about 50m to go I was unsure as to whether the weather would hold," said a jubilant Alan from base camp. "I could see Everest very clearly and there was a horrendous storm building up. I had to decide whether to risk continuing to the summit or to back off. I decided to push on. Fortunately the storm missed Makalu and I reached the summit in fairly clear weather. It was fantastic to be on the summit. I knew that I still had to get back down and arriving back at high base camp this morning I could at last relax and celebrate."

"The weather conditions were not as good as a week ago. There has been a lot of fresh snow which has made the climb harder and increased the avalanche risk."

The weather had delayed Alan's attempt for the summit and earlier in the month had claimed the life of a Danish climber on Makalu. The same bad weather was also responsible for the death on Everest of Michael Matthews a few days ago.

Dispatch 5/15/99

Alan Hinkes Challenge 8000 PROGRESS REPORT     Friday 15 May 1999

Alan Hinkes files his latest report from high base camp (5700m) on Makalu: "My plans this week have been frustrated by the weather. It has been  snowing heavily, the winds have risen and it looks as if there is more snow   to come. I haven't had the chance to get anywhere near the summit of Makalu.

Over the weekend of 8/9 May I rested at high base camp and watched the weather deteriorate. I felt that I was recovering well from the previous week's climb up to Makalu La at 7400m, but dropping to a lower altitude would help further. So with no sign of the weather improving, on Monday 10 May I headed back down to low base camp at 4500m.

I left at about 3pm and hammered down across the glacier in two and a half hours. The weather at this height was also pretty gob-smacking, with torrential rain and sleet. I was a bit worried that if I went down to low base camp I might miss a weather opportunity on the mountain, but I had a good view across to Makalu and could see any changes in the weather conditions on the mountain.

I had left tents and equipment at low base camp with one of my Nepalese staff. The thicker air at the lower altitude let me have a good night's sleep. My cook prepared porridge and tinned strawberries for breakfast and with the weather still dreadful I decided to stay another night at low base camp. During Tuesday I went for a four hour walk in the sleet going slightly lower again. I took a packed lunch of cold chips, boiled eggs and fried chapati. On my return I enjoyed a good meal of rice and dhal with cabbage in vinegar for dinner. I had another good night's sleep. Although the weather had not improved by Wednesday, I decided to get back up to high base camp anyway and returned in another very quick time, about four hours.

The weather seemed slightly better on Thursday, so I headed up to camp 1 at 6500m and spent the night there. It snowed heavily during the night and the weather was clearly deteriorating again, so I left supplies there and returned, frustrated, to high base camp. On Friday night the wind was horrific. It roared across Makalu, sounding like a jumbo jet. I am very worried about the tent I left last week at Makalu La. It could very easily have been blown away. In it is all my equipment for making my summit bid - my down suit, my bivouac tent and all my climbing equipment. If it has all blown away, then I don't know whether I can still attempt the summit. My down suit is crucial at the top when the temperatures are so low and the winds so strong. I have other climbing equipment and tents which I can take up with me, but I will have to assess the situation when I am able to get back up to Makalu La.

If the weather improves I will leave on Sunday 16 May and head back up to camp 1. On Monday I would then hope to push up to Makalu La, Tuesday up to camp 3 the bivouac site at about 7800m and in the early hours of Wednesday make a summit attempt. My plans will be completely dictated by the weather. I feel well and ready to make a summit attempt and it is very frustrating to be stuck here waiting.

I have been reading a book by Reinhold Messner, the first mountaineer to climb all fourteen mountains over 8000 meters in height, and he described Makalu - whose name means 'Great Black One' - as perhaps the most formidable of the fourteen mountains to be defeated. It is certainly a very hard climb and I have been comparing it with K2 which has always been considered to be a very difficult climb - much harder than Everest. Messner may well be right - Makalu is certainly an extremely challenging mountain. The next time I file a report I hope that the weather will have improved and that I shall have pushed higher and even reached the summit."

Date: Saturday 15 May 1999 Source: Sue Viney Viney Communications

Dispatch 5/7/99

Alan Hinkes Challenge 8000 PROGRESS REPORT       Friday 7 May 1999

Alan Hinkes files another report on his return to high base camp at Makalu (5700m): "Over the last few days I have had a superb view across to Everest. The discovery of Mallory's body this week has made me reflect on those early years of mountaineering and how things have changed. People constantly ask me why I climb mountains and I can appreciate the now famous response that Mallory used to give; "because it is there".   

This week I have pushed as high 7400m and I returned to high base camp very late yesterday. I need a few days rest before resuming my climb.

On Monday 3 May I set off very early for camp 1 at 6200m, retracing my steps from the week before. My Nepalese foreman Dawa, who has been high on Everest, has decided that he would like to try to climb as high as possible and he set off with me. We crossed the Makalu Glacier and climbed the head wall as before and camped for the night at camp 1. I had left a tent and some food and equipment at camp 1 the week before.

On Tuesday we pushed higher to camp 2 at 6500m, which was only a two hour climb. I have decided that this will be my camp 1 from now on because it is very close to the original camp 1. On the way I found my abandoned rucksack from my '97 expedition to Makalu. It was frozen into the mountain slope. We spent the night at camp 2. 

The following day was a tough one. We pushed all the way up to Makalu La at 7400m. Makalu La is a col or pass which is like a horizontal notch between the main peak of Makalu and a second smaller peak which is Makalu 2. The climb up to this height was a very long haul. The terrain was very mixed with rock and snow and I was carrying a 20kg rucksack with my food, down suit, sleeping bag and tent. We climbed flat-out for eight hours and arrived at Makalu La completely exhausted. The winds swept in fiercely across Makalu La and looking up to the summit of Makalu from there is impressive and intimidating. There is about another 1000m to climb to the summit beyond that point and it is all black rock and snow. Below the Makalu La is the Makalu Glacier and the hard ice is like a skating rink with ripples in places which glared strongly in the sun.

That night at Makalu La was very grim. I felt exhausted and spent most of the night coughing and with a splitting headache. I spent about two and a half hours melting snow for water between 1am and 3.30am. I was suffering the early signs of mountain sickness and I needed to make sure I was rehydrating properly. I was worried that I was getting the first symptoms of cerebral oedema; it felt like a really bad flu, but inside a really tiny tent in a deep freeze with no-one to look after me! Dawa had a headache too, but he had been at altitude for much longer and adapted to the height with fewer problems. All mountaineers have to go through a long acclimatization process when they arrive at a mountain. It can take three to four weeks before I am fully acclimatized and ready to go for the summit. The best way to acclimatize is to climb up, then return to base camp to recover, climb higher and again return, then push higher still and return until finally I feel that I am ready for the summit attempt. By pushing as high as 7400m at Makalu La I may have gone a bit too quickly, but I have helped to speed up my acclimatization process.

At about 4am the wind got up and for the next five hours nearly ripped the tent away. By 9am the winds dropped. We re-pitched the tent in a slightly better location and hammered in two-and-a-half foot long ice screws and put on extra ropes to hold the tent firmly in place. We partially covered it with snow to protect it from being blown off the mountain.
    
We then headed back down a couloir, or gulley, and returned to high base camp by late in the day on Thursday. My feet are a bit sore from getting very hot in my special high mountain plastic boots, but apart from feeling very tired I feel fine. I shall spend two or three days at base camp rehydrating and building my energy levels up again.
    
The weather has been fairly typical for the Himalaya, some sunshine, strong winds and some snow. In the afternoon the clouds gather. It gets dark at about 6.30pm and at night the temperature plummets to minus 20oC. During the night my tent becomes encrusted with ice on the inside and when I wake and start to move around, I get covered in a shower of ice and snow. I place a large bag of snow just inside the tent door so that I can use it to melt for a drink at any time. I also have my pee bottle to hand - going outside in the night when it is minus 20oC is not an option! 
    
The conditions generally are very dry this year. There has been very little snow. This makes the conditions very good for a technical climber.
    
I will probably set off again on Monday 10 May, climbing to my new camp 1, Makalu La and then as high as 7800m. If the conditions are right and I feel OK, I may leave a bivouac tent at 7800m and make an attempt at the summit at the end of the week. The final summit bid will be alpine-style - with the minimum of equipment.
    
I shall report again on my return." Date: Friday 7 May 1999 Source: Sue Viney

Dispatch 5/2/99

Alan Hinkes has sent his latest report from high base camp at Makalu (5700m): "Today it's snowing heavily. I've been very lucky with the weather up until  now - near perfect for climbing. The snow is bad news as the conditions will deteriorate on Makalu, but hopefully it will stop in a day or so.

My acclimatization at low base camp went well and I gave myself three days there to make sure I had fully adjusted to the altitude.

I celebrated my birthday on Monday 26 April by treating myself to a good scramble up a slanting rock face, which reminded me of a mini version of one of my favorite scrambles on the Isle of Skye. I got as high as 5300m before returning to base camp for a birthday breakfast of cheese omelette.

On Tuesday I set off for high base camp at 5700m. Most of the equipment that I would need at high base camp had been transferred there by my Nepalese staff who had been at base camp for some time and had already acclimatized well. The trek to high base camp took me about four and a half hours, less than I had expected. I had to cut across the Chago Glacier and walk through what can only be described as a high altitude desert. The whole route was covered in rocks and rubble, the moraine from the glacier. With no water on the surface, the winds whipped up thick dust storms and the air became brown with dust, allowing only occasional glimpses of the blue sky above.         

High base camp is on a cliff just below a forest of ice pinnacles known as "penitents" by geologists. I set my tent up about 50m in front of the "penitents" and as I look out of my tent door I can see  them standing there like fins, some taller than a five story house. We cleared a platform for the tents and Dawa, my Nepalese cook, set up the kitchen tent near to mine.

Once at high base camp I met up with the other climbers from expeditions from Australia, America and Denmark, who are climbing on Makalu. Michael Groom is the top high altitude mountaineer from Aussie and I had not seen him for a while. He had been on a separate expedition to Cho Oyu at the same time as me in 1990 and we had bumped into each other occasionally since then. His ambitions are slightly more modest than mine, he is aiming to climb the five highest mountains in the world.

After resting at high base camp on Wednesday 28 April, I felt ready to push higher on the Thursday. I had to start by going through the penitents using a labyrinth of routes. At one point I had to squeeze through a very narrow gap between a penitent and a cliff face. This led on to rockier terrain and then on to the glacier. Since there had been little or no snow falling over the last few weeks, I found myself plodding across the glacier straight on top of the ice. It meant I could see all of the cracks in the ice including the gaping crevasses which I either had to cross or walk around. 

My route took me to the head wall which is about 150m high and at an angle of about 50o . It was a steep climb. At the top I walked for about half a kilometer before pitching my tent at camp 1, at 6200m, next to an ice wall or serac. I felt OK to start with and turned in for the night. The snow started falling and there must have been about an inch of fresh snow. By the morning it had stopped. I suffered mild headaches during the night and melted a lot of snow for water to drink before setting back off down to base camp.

I was pretty wrecked by the time I got back down to high base camp and Dawa and Pasang fed me up with egg and chips, chipatis, tins of fruit and plenty of fresh coffee.

I spent Saturday recovering and listening to the BBC World Service. I was horrified to hear about the death of Jill Dando and the dreadful bombings in London.

Unfortunately, Saturday was also the day that the weather broke and the snow has been falling heavily ever since. The conditions on the mountain will be much harder with increased avalanche risks and poorer visibility.

It was also on Saturday that we heard that one of the Danish climbers had been swept off the top of Makalu in high winds. His climbing partner staggered back into base camp to tell us that Michael Jorgensen, who I had been talking to only three days before, had summited Makalu, and had just started the descent when he was swept away by the strong winds. The last 300m of Makalu are possibly the hardest part of the mountain to climb. 

Apparently he had pushed really hard to get from base camp to camp 2 at 7400m in twelve hours and rested for two nights at this high altitude. He pushed for the summit the next day, probably too quickly and before he was really ready.

It was sobering news for all of us at base camp. I have always said that the hardest part of the mountain is the return from the summit. Too many people have relaxed their guard once they have summited and lost their lives on the descent. I try not to feel too much euphoria on the summit because I always know that the hardest part has yet come.

One or two of the other climbers are considering whether or not to continue. The others will push on and so will I. This is not the first time that I have been on a mountain when someone has died and although it makes me stop and think, it does not put me off.

As soon as the snow eases, I shall return to camp 1. After spending a night at camp 1, I shall push on to camp 2 and Makalu La at 7400m. I shall spend a night at camp 2 before returning to camp 1 and then base camp by Friday or Saturday for a rest.

My next report will be on my return from camp 2."

Alan Hinkes Date: May 2nd 1999 Source: Sue Viney

Dispatch: 4/25/99

Alan Hinkes Challenge 8000 PROGRESS REPORT Sunday 25 April 1999: Alan Hinkes has sent back his latest report from low Makalu base camp at 4500m: "Despite my plans going slightly off course over the last two weeks, I am finally at Makalu base camp. As I sit in my tent, I have a fantastic view; I can see Lhotse and the south col of Everest very clearly to one side. Towering above me is the south-west face of Makalu. It feels good to be here. I left Kathmandu as planned on Monday 5 April on a twin otter turbo-prop plane heading for Tumlingtar at 950m. My equipment had left Kathmandu a few days earlier by road, with my Nepalese staff Dawa and Pemba and I was due to   meet up with it at Tumlingtar. The airstrip is a dirt strip above the Arun River and as we approached the weather closed in. The pilot decided not to risk landing and diverted to Biratnagar, which is a large town close to the Indian border. The temperatures here were unbearably hot and the Malaria risk very high. I was forced to spend the night there. In the morning, things seemed even worse. The plane developed a navigation system problem and another plane had to be called from Kathmandu. Finally the second plane took off and, with lighter winds than the day before, managed to land at Tumlingtar. It wasn't until Wednesday 7 April that we set off on the twelve day trek to Makalu. I had 40 porters carrying my climbing equipment, tents, food, communications equipment and everything I would need for the next two months.
    
To start with we walked through lowlands with paddy fields terraced up the hillsides. The nearest road was about three days walk the other side of  Tumlingtar and so we were walking on tracks and pathways between the fields. We pushed on through Kanbari, the 'market' town and a sort of headquarters for the region. The climate here is almost sub-tropical, very humid and hot. We camped for the night just beyond Kanbari.
    
The next day the route started to head uphill, following the Arun River,  and we went past the spot where I slipped and fell off the path in 1995. A branch was the only thing that had stopped me falling further. Unfortunately it stopped me by skewering my leg and giving me a nasty injury. It proved to be the end of my attempt on Makalu that year.
    
That night we stopped on an exposed ridge at Chichilla and there was a horrendous thunderstorm. The lightning crashed all around us and gave our tents a thorough testing.
    
We trekked along the ridge the next day to Num at 1500m, a village with about twenty buildings and a school which was typical of the region; a single story building with a tin roof, mud bricks and a bare earth floor.
    
By Saturday 10 April I was beginning to feel unwell.  Since leaving Tumlingtar I seemed to have no power or energy, but I didn't believe that there was anything seriously wrong. The higher I climbed the weaker I became. It felt almost as if I was at high altitude already. I suppose I am used to putting myself through suffering on the mountain and I continued to push myself quite hard.
    
The path took us down again quite steeply, dropping to 650m so that we could cross the Arun river using a rickety suspension bridge. We then had to climb back up to 1490m through a forest and to the village of Seduwa where we camped for the night. All that day I felt shivery and cold despite the heat, suffering stomach cramps and pains.
    
From this point we started to get higher. On Sunday we walked as far as Tashigoan, at 2200m, the last village that we would be passing through. Beyond Tashigoan the country is uninhabited and wild. We continued up to Kongma at 3500m.
    
By Tuesday 13 April I couldn't go any further. I was very weak and felt much worse. I had to be helped back down to Tashigoan where I called for an emergency helicopter to come and rescue me. I could not have walked any further, the next part of the descent was too steep and there were no doctors or medicine and nowhere for me to try to recover. I didn't know what I was suffering from. All sorts of possible diseases crossed my mind including Typhoid and Malaria. I was deteriorating quickly and urgently needed medical attention in Kathmandu.
    
The helicopter whisked me back to hospital in Kathmandu where tests established that I had a virulent parasitic intestinal infection - Giardia and complications such as dehydration. Apparently Giardia can be fatal if left untreated. I have no doubt it was the right decision to get back quickly to Kathmandu. The hospital gave me some strong medication, rehydrated me and ordered complete rest and quiet. I felt very ill for a few days. I also believed at first that this was the end of my expedition. I thought that I might have lost too much time to be able to get back to Makalu before the monsoons close in at the start of June. I need at least five weeks at the mountain to be able to acclimatize and climb. Time was running out.
    
The promise of a helicopter to take me to as near to base camp as possible spurred my recovery. By cutting out the long trek up to Makalu I could make up some of the lost time. By Friday 16 April I was feeling well enough to start to plan my return. Unfortunately the doctors put me on some new medication that day and I felt a bit rough again for a while. The medication wouldn't allow me to drink beer - how bad could things get? But  I quickly felt better again.
    
I had hoped to leave Kathmandu on Monday 19 April, but the Prime Minister of Nepal needed the helicopter pilot for his general election campaign!
    
I was at Kathmandu airport by 6am on Tuesday 20 April and, taking one porter, Pasang, with me to help carry my equipment to base camp, the helicopter took me on the two hour flight to a spot called Yangre Karka at 3500m. The helicopter was quite small and although we went up to about 5000m to look at  Makalu, it could only land at 3500m, about a day's trek away from base camp. Unusually, the helicopter pilot 'parked' his helicopter and got out to stretch his legs. He was hoping to find some of the locally grown sweet potatoes to take back with him, but we hadn't landed near enough to any cultivated areas for him to find any.
    
The porter who had traveled with me set off for base camp. He had recently been at a high altitude and was already acclimatized and was able to alert my Nepalese staff, Dawa and Pemba of my arrival. I camped for the night where I was. To go suddenly to 3500m is quite dangerous, but in fact I felt fine. For a short time I had a headache which was probably the early signs of mountain sickness, but after a sleep during the afternoon I felt OK.
    
In the morning I felt good and trekked up the Barun Valley to about 4100m. Again I felt fine and relieved that I was acclimatizing so easily. I camped for the night and then trekked further up the valley to about 4600m. Here I did feel the altitude for a while, but again after a rest and a night's sleep I felt fine.
    
On Friday 23 April I set off for lower base camp which had been set up at 4950m. I was joined by two porters helping me with my equipment. Half an hour from base camp disaster nearly struck. We needed to cross a fast flowing and very cold stream; the melt waters from the Makalu glacier. Most of my equipment had been carried to base camp in large waterproof barrels, but everything which I had taken back to Kathmandu with me had been traveling in soft duffle bags. One porter was carrying the bag with my communications equipment, laptop computer and video camera. He slipped at the edge of the stream and he and the bag were totally immersed for a few seconds. The other porter was nearest to him - I had stopped further downstream taking photos - and laughing at his friend, grabbed both the porter and the bag and dragged them to safety. The porter was fine, if rather wet, and they both had a good laugh about it. After checking he was OK, I quickly opened up the bag and took out all of the equipment and spread it out in the sun to dry. I was extremely relieved later to find that everything worked.
    
We pushed on to lower base camp and arrived by the middle of the day on Friday. My equipment was all waiting for me and my first task was to sort out what I needed to take up to high base camp at 5800m (nearly 19,000 feet). I need to feel well acclimatized at this height before moving up higher so I have settled in for a couple of days. Saturday I spent sorting equipment, taking gentle treks, reading Tom Clancy and Iain Banks books and listening to the World Service.
    
Today I am doing the same. To get some exercise and help my acclimatization I went for a three hour cliff scramble on a slanting rock face above lower base camp, up to about 5500m. The view was fantastic.
    
I returned to lower base camp and started to put together my kerosene heater, checked my emails and enjoyed a good meal and some real coffee. My cooks are looking after me well - I've had porridge for breakfast, tuna and potato pancakes and something resembling pizza - a soggy pastry base topped with cabbage, hot dog sausages, tomatoes and cheese. Today I ate the last of my fresh fruit.
    
I hope to be ready to move up to high base camp on Monday or Tuesday and after a couple of days there, I should be ready to start climbing Makalu. I have to cross the Makalu glacier to get to high base camp, a six hour climb with avalanche, rock fall and deep crevasse dangers. Part of the glacier is about 50m below where low base camp has been set up and I can hear it creaking and groaning below me. Although I intend to climb on my own, there are three other expeditions at high base camp and I am looking forward to meeting up with climbers from Danish, American and Australian expeditions in the next few days. The weather is good at the moment, mostly clear with some snow falling in the afternoon. I hope it stays that way.
    
My next report will come from high base camp after I have spent some time  on Makalu." Alan Hinkes Date: Sunday 25 April 1999 Source: Sue Viney

April 20, 1999

Alan Hinkes Britain’s 8000m Beater is back on track after having some rest and medication here in Kathmandu. Earlier Alan had suffered serious intestinal infection while trekking over Kongma (3500m.) toward Makalu.

On the night of April 12th, Alan called his long time friend Bikrum in Kathmandu and reported that he could not move any further, due very bad intestinal problem, exertion, and dehydration from the abnormal heat in the foothills of Eastern Nepal.

Alan needed medical assistance immediately in a cooler altitude and it was in no way possible in a place like Tashi Gaon, a place 5 Days uphill and strenuous walk away from the nearest Airstrip. Alan needed drugs and doctors and recovery in a cooler place which was not available in that altitude.

Bikrum immediately ordered a helicopter next day on April 13th to pick up Alan from Tashi Gaon (below Kongma). Alan is insured by BMC’s Expedition Insurance Policy.

Alan will reach the upper base camp of Makalu in a few days time, where his crew are already based for his arrival.

His choppering out bill for today is being sponsored by Britannia Movers International Ltd.

Alan is very happy that finally everything is moving back to normal. Otherwise at one point he had thought that his expedition to Makalu  may have finished.

 

Reported by Himalayan Guys in Kathmandu

April 05, 1999

Alan Hinkes Departs for Makalu,  His ultimate Challenge will be the 15th 8000er.

Alan Hinkes departed today for Makalu, taking the flight to Tumlingtar. His caravan crew had earlier started from Hille, a road head for all Makalu bound Trekkers and Climbers in the foothills of Eastern Nepal.

Alan plans to climb the remaining 3 Peaks in less than 12 months, after having success on Makalu.

After climbing all the fourteen 8000m peaks, Alan has planned to climb the 15th 8000er, in his own words, from Nepal side. i.e.  Everest via South East Ridge. Point to note that Alan has already climbed Mt. Everest via North Ridge back in 1996 from Tibet.

His friends in Kathmandu have given him a warm send off.

bikrum pandey @ himalaya centre, Kathmandu / Nepal, April 05, 1999

March 28, 1999

Alan Hinkes plans to finish all the Himalaya & Karakorum Range fourteen 8000m. peaks by the end of this century. ar2.jpg (2306 bytes)

Alan Hinkes is the first British climber who has climbed all five 8000m. Peaks in Pakistan. He is also the first British climber who has successfully climbed ten 8000 meter peaks. Now the remaining 8000 meter peaks he still has to climb are all in Nepal; Kangchenjunga, Makalu, Annapurna & Dhaulagiri. 

Challenge 8000 is Alan Hinkes attempt to be the first British climber to climb all 14 peaks over 8000 meters. Climbing these ten 8000 meter peaks has been a long and arduous task, involving more than 20 expeditions over 11 years. Surviving is success and the summit is only a bonus - no mountain is worth a life. In fact, Alan’s motto is no mountain is worth even a finger or a toe to frostbite.

Alan Hinkes was last in Nepal in 1997 when he climbed Lhotse (8511 meter), the worlds 4th highest mountain. Last year 1998 he climbed Nanga Parbat (8125 meter) in Pakistan. This is the most westerly 8000m. peak in the Himalaya. It has been dubbed the ‘Killer Mountain" due to its tragic and dangerous reputation. Along with K2, it is a major prize in extreme altitude mountaineering. 

Alan Hinkes expects Makalu to be a serious and demanding climb more challenging than it’s mighty near neighbor Everest, which he summited in 1996. He has tried Makalu twice before. So he feels it is like returning to an old friend.

His expedition to Makalu is being organized by his old friend Mr. Bikrum Pandey, a tourism professional of Nepal. 

Reported by Himalaya Centre, Kathmandu  NEPAL        March, 28 '99

Alan Hinkes is a 44 year old mountain climber from Yorkshire. This will be his third attempt to climb Makalu. He climbed K2 on his third attempt.

Alan Hinkes has to date climbed 10 of the 14 8000 meter peaks: Shishapangma 1987, Manaslu 1989, Cho Oyu 1990, Broad Peak 1991, K2 1995, Everest 1996, Gasherbrum I 1996, Gasherbrum II 1996, Lhotse 1997, Nanga Parbat 1998.

 

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• Car Racks
• Carabiners
• Cards
• Child Carriers
• Climbing Bags
• Compasses
• Cooking Supplies
• Cycling Components
• Cycling Repair
• Dry Bags
• Dry Boxes
• Electronics
• First Aid
• Fishing Accessories
• Fleece
• Float Tubes
• Fly Boxes
• Fly Line
• Fly Rods
• Fly Tying
• Fly Vests & Packs
• Food
• Footwear
• Gaiters
• Gifts & Games
• Gloves & Mittens
• Goggles
• Harnesses
• Hats
• Helmets
• Hydration Packs
• Indoor Climbing Gear
• Infant Apparel
• Jackets
• Kayaks
• Kid's Cycling Gear
• Kid's Paddling Gear
• Knives & Tools
• Leaders & Tippets
• Lifejackets/ PFDs
• Lights
• Locks
• Long Underwear
• Maps
• Messenger & Bike Bags
• Mountaineering Gear
• Neckwear
• Neoprene
• Nets
• Paddles & Oars
• Paddlewear
• Pants
• Pet Gear
• Poles
• Pontoons
• Prints & Posters
• Rafts
• Reels & Spools
• Rescue Gear
• Rock Climbing Gear
• Rod & Reel Kits
• Rod Tubes & Bags
• Ropes
• Shell Outerwear
• Shirts
• Shorts
• Showers & Toilets
• Skates & Scooters
• Ski & Board Repair
• Skirts & Dresses
• Skis
• Sleds and Tubes
• Sleeping Bags & Pads
• Snowboards
• Snowshoes
• Socks
• Sprayskirts
• Stoves
• Strollers
• Sunglasses
• Sunscreen & Repellant
• Sweaters
• Swimming
• Tents
• Travel Accessories
• Underwear
• Vests
• Videos
• Waders
• Watches & Clocks
• Water Bottles & Bags
• Water Filtration