North Yorkshire mountaineer describes how he became first Briton to conquer the world's highest peaks (From The Northern Echo)
For details on how to contact our editorial and commercial departments, click here
North Yorkshire mountaineer describes how he became first Briton to conquer the world's highest peaks
NORTH Yorkshire climber Alan Hinkes - the first Briton to conquer all 14 of the world’s highest mountains - has put his incredible experiences into a book.
The personal account, entitled 8,000 Metres – Climbing the World’s Highest Mountains, documents his experiences on each of the “death zone” mountains; peaks measuring over 8,000 metres where human survival rate is measured in hours.
The celebrated mountaineer, who lives in Northallerton, is one of just 12 people in the world to have completed the feat.
A chapter is devoted to each climb and recounts how his determination to return home to his daughter kept him alive. He took a photograph of his daughter Fiona to the top of each mountain.
Tragically, many of his fellow climbers were killed on the mountainsides.
The book begins and ends in his native North Yorkshire, where he acquired his taste for adventure and climbing whilst a pupil at Northallerton Grammer school.
He also devotes a page of his book to Roseberry Topping, near Guisborough.
“It was very influential on me as a kid,” he explained.
“It’s a lovely little mountain. The rewards are massively exponential to the minimal effort in climbing it. The views on top are superb.”
Photographs he took himself on his expeditions also feature in the book.
The accomplished cameraman has filmed 11 documentaries, including filming his friend and fellow mountaineer Brian Blessed on his final attempt to climb Everest.
The actor wrote the foreward to the book, describing it as a “tale of extraordinary courage and sustained and tenacious endeavour”.
Mr Hinkes said he will never return to the death zone mountains.
He said: “I will probably go back to Everest, but nothing would make me go back to the rest. Everest is still dangerous - you can still be killed - but I wouldn’t’ go back to K2 or Kangchenjunga.
“Most people try and do all 14 mountains and don’t because they get killed. That’s why there are only 12 people in the world who have done it.”
After reaching the summit of Kangchenjunga on his own, Mr Hinkes he then had to get back down in the dark, in the middle of a storm, an experience he says, that put him “beyond fear”.
But failure is not a word in his lexicon.
“I’ve only failed when I’m dead,” he said.
“There’s no failures in the book - there’s a lot of near misses, there’s a lot of what climbers called “major epics” and tragedies – but there’s no failures because I’m still alive.”
• 8,000 Metres – Climbing the World’s Highest Mountains is published on Tuesday, October 8, by specialist guidebook publishers Cicerone.
Comments are closed on this article.