Alan Hinkes on the Annapurna summit
Al Hinkes will be attempting Annapurna this spring, his 12th 8000m peak. He hopes to be the first British climber to reach the summit of all 14 8000ers with Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Kangchenjunga to go. Annapurna (8,091m) is generally regarded as the most dangerous 8000m peak, with around half as many deaths on the mountain as number of summiteers. Routes on the north side of the mountain were considered too dangerous by American high altitude climber, Ed Viesturs who considered the objective dangers "unjustifiable". His 2000 expedition witnessed a constant deluge of avalanches, caused by seracs shearing off at the top of the glacial basin which must be crossed to approach any of the routes on the north side.
Hinkes is likely to follow the original 1950 French route from the north and says "My plan is to minimize the risk by climbing lightweight. I do not have a death wish and I climb to live, not to die. The summit is optional – returning is mandatory".
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