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  British Mountaineer and Everest summiter: ALAN HINKES ENTERS THE RECORD BOOKS AS THE FIRST BRITON EVER TO CLIMB THE WORLD'S 14 HIGHEST PEAKS


British extreme altitude mountaineer, Alan Hinkes, has successfully reached the summit of Kangchenjunga.  This marks the completion of Hinkes' Challenge 8000, his attempt to be the first Briton to Summit the world's 14, 8000m peaks.

Hinkes, a leading member of the Berghaus team of climbers, reached the top of Kangchenjunga – at 8587 metres above sea level   Accompanying him on his final summit attempt was friend and climbing partner Pasang Gelu.

As ever, on reaching the summit, Hinkes took out a photo of his daughter Fiona and his grandson Jay to have his summit photos taken.  Hinkes has undertaken this ritual on every one of his successful summit expeditions.

Speaking about his epic ordeal live from base camp at 6000 metres, Alan said: "The final summit push was without a doubt the hardest climb of my life.  We left base camp on Thursday 26 May and began to push up the mountain.  The weather had not been good which meant there was an awful lot of fresh snow to break through.  Risk of avalanche was incredibly high and every step of the way was a matter of physical and mental endurance.

"The snow was so deep that we were unable to make camp three and had to bivvy on the hillside at around 7400m.  We tried for a summit attempt on the 29 May but we were beaten back by the weather.

"A second summit attempt saw us leave at about 1am on the 30 May.  More snow had fallen but we made good time.  My climbing partner Pasang had to stop around 15 minutes short of the summit due to exhaustion.  I reached the summit on the 30 May at around 7pm in driving snow and wind.  It was the worst summit conditions I can remember.  I took the obligatory photo spent around 10 minutes on the summit and then began my descent.

"It was about 9pm when I caught up with Pasang but with no head torch it was difficult to locate him and I honestly thought he was dead.  It was with great elation that I found him and we got back to the bivvy site around 27 hours after setting off on 31 May.

"The next couple of days saw us descending back to base camp through fresh snow with high risk of avalanche.  Getting back to base camp was one of the best feelings of my life.  I sat down in my tent and thought I've finally done it!"

From 2004: Alan Hinkes Summits Dhaulagiri! and Alan Hinkes Summits Dhaulagiri more details and Mountaineer Alan Hinkes returns to Kathmandu following successful summit of Dhaulagiri

Alan Hinkes Annapurna 2002

Kangchenjunga 2003 Alan Hinkes

Alan Hinkes Spring Makalu 99

Alan Hinkes Q&A

Kangchenjunga 2000 Alan Hinkes

 

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