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Alan Hinkes reappears - bags his 12th
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May 19, 2004 15: 19 EST
Yesterday May 18th Alan Hinkes ascended Dhaulagiri to make 12 out of 14 8,000+ meter mountains. Yet he received very little press. An article in a climbing magazine explained "British media spoke about [Alan] not because of his feats in mountaineering, but describing him as the ‘Most unfortunate of the living British mountaineers’.

So on that note when it was reported this morning that Alan disappeared during his solo climb of Dhaulagiri, only a slight murmur passed through the community. Then the news comes in that he had reappeared on Dhauli's summit with Pasang Gelu Sherpa. Alan's home team said that they had not heard from him in almost six weeks.

News reports also began to surface this morning that said Alan's Challenge 8000 project now only has one more 8,000er to go, saying Dhaulagiri was his lucky 13. In fact Dhauli was his 12th; he was not on the highest point of Cho Oyu and therefore it does not count.

In Nanga Parbat in 1998, Alan inhaled chapatti flour (the flat bread pancakes eaten in Pakistan and India) and the subsequent sneeze was so strong that he slipped a disc in his back. British papers published headlines like “Surviving the Chapatti Zone”.

Last Sunday's Makalu summiteer, Iñaki Ochoa de Olza, gave a lot of details concerning an encounter with Alan on K2, back in 95. This is what Iñaki had to say in an interview published in the ‘CampoBase’:

Iñaki had a bad fall on K2 when the fixed rope he was climbing broke loose, at 7200m. He fell, hitting rocks, and hung from his rope, bleeding (later he would know he had broken one arm, three ribs, the sacro-iliac bone and the nose). Hinkes was nearby; he’d been climbing behind the Spanish team. Hinkes was the first to get to Iñaki.

“In the moment he saw me, he said ‘fuck’, got his video-camera out and started filming, while I stood there bleeding to death. I asked him to help me and he answered: “I'm sorry, this is K2 and I’m going for the summit”, and left. When Juanjo (also from the Spanish team) came by, he wanted to go after Alan and kill him. I had to convince Juanjo to stop and help me instead.”

“Hinkes was in a hurry because the weather was deteriorating and José Carlos and Sebastian (the strongest men in our team) were ahead of us, opening the track. If he stopped to help me , he would loose his chance to summit.”

“In the end, the weather worsened, Jose Carlos and Sebastian turned back, and so did Hinkes, who returned running back home.”

Alan Hinkes (b. 1954), British climber, who ascended Shisha Pangma Main in 1987, Manaslu in 1989, the Cho Oyu-Plateau and Shisha Pangma Central-Peak in 1990, Broad Peak in 1991, K2 in 1995, Everest, Gasherbrum I and II in 1996, Lhotse in 1997, Nanga Parbat in 1998, Makalu in 1999, Annapurna in 2002 and Dhaulagiri (2004).

Inaki Ochoa de Olza has reached his 8th 8.000 meter peak. He made Cho Oyu twice (1993 and 2001), GI (1996), GII (1996), Lhotse (1999), Everest (2001), Nanga Parbat (2003), Broad Peak (2003) and now Makalu (2004). He also has Shisha Pangma Central (1995). His next project is K2, that he will atempt this summer.

Image of Alan courtesy of wateraidchallenge8000.org.

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