Alan Hinkes Annapurna 2002 

UPDATE – May 1, 2002: THE ONLY WAY IS UP FOR ALAN HINKES: British mountaineer Alan Hinkes has now reached base camp on Annapurna as part of Challenge 8000, his quest to be the first Britain to climb all 14 of the world’s 8000m mountains. 

Alan has now started the arduous acclimatization process on Annapurna, but not without some fun along the way. In the early hours of Tuesday morning the unpredictable Himalayan weather provided Alan with some problems when one of his tents was destroyed by a violent wind storm.  Earlier today Alan told Berghaus what happened by satellite telephone:

“It was about 1.30am and I was resting in my tent. Suddenly, I heard a noise like an approaching express train and then the camp was hit by terrific winds that came down the mountain.  These winds – called Catabatic winds and known to be even worse in the southern oceans - came and went sporadically over about an hour and then everything calmed down again. “I lost my mess tent, but luckily all of my gear was weighed down well and nothing essential was blown away.  I had a spare tent and have now pitched that, but this was a timely reminder of how harsh the conditions can be on an 8,000m mountain.  Funnily enough, Catabatics are often followed by a period of good weather, so hopefully I should be able to get some good climbing done over the next few days and accelerate my preparations for a summit bid.”

Challenge 8000 has already seen Alan climb 11 of the world’s highest mountains, including Everest and 2K. Once he has summitted Annapurna, only Dhaulagiri and Kangchenjunga will stand between Alan and the end of Challenge 8000. Alan hopes to summit in the next two to three weeks, conditions permitting. Alan main sponsor is Berghaus.

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