Stevie Haston and wife kidnapped at gunpoint in Nepal
Charles Arthur 29th October, 2002
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Stevie Haston and his wife Laurence Gouault Haston, along with nine other European climbers, have been kidnapped at gunpoint in Nepal. They were taken captive while attempting the 22,244 foot-high Wedge Peak.
Haston, 45, from London but now based in France, was once described by the Guardian as "the best climber Britain has ever produced".
The Slovenian press agency STA says the climbers were seized at a height of over 16,404 foot by the heavily armed Maoist rebels.
Expedition spokesman Gregor Kresal, said: "We had two groups trying for the climb and the 11-member group is the one that was seized.
"The rebels have demanded $7,000 in ransom for their release. The climbers were seized just after we had divided into two groups for the final attempt.
"At the base camp half of us were dropped off by a helicopter while the others pressed on. It was this group that was halted by Maoists."
The Maoists are demanding cash, not equipment, for the ransom, delaying negotiations.