||Alan Hinkes is the UKs
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
Challenge 8000 has
already seen him reach the top of many of the
worlds 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.
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
Alan Hinkes Spring Makalu
99: Dispatches in reverse order are below...
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 Britains 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 BMCs Expedition
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
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
March 28, 1999
|Alan Hinkes plans to finish all the Himalaya
& Karakorum Range fourteen 8000m. peaks by the end of this century.
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, Alans 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 its mighty near neighbor Everest, which he
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
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