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Leading mountaineer to deliver memorial lecture

Posted 23 August 2012
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Leading mountaineer to deliver memorial lecture
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This year's Wainwright Memorial lecture is to be delivered by Alan Hinkes, the only British mountaineer to have climbed all 14 of the world's summits over 8,000 metres (26,264 ft).

While his death-defying climbs of the loftiest Himalayan Peaks has put him among a tiny elite - just 12 - of the world's leading mountain climbers, the Yorkshireman is equally at home walking or climbing in the Lake District Fells, declaring them as good a place to go mountaineering as any in the world.

The lecture is an annual event staged by the Wainwright Society, which aims to keep alive the memory of the life and works of the late fellwalker and author Alfred Wainwright.

It will be held at Rheged near Perth on November 9th, starting at 19:00 BST, with admission £8 for Wainwright Society members and £15 for non-members.

Those who go walking regularly in the Lake District may understand well why an elite mountaineer might want to come back to the north of England to enjoy its peaks, far from the high-altitude perils of the Himalayas.

Wainwright, whose self-confessed fear of heights ensured he never sought to emulate the kind of activities undertaken by mountaineers like Alan Hinkes, documented 214 fells in his seven Pictorial Guides, henceforth known as the Wainwrights.

One that would require a climb to reach the top is Helm Crag, which features two rocky outcrops known as the Lion and the Lamb. Of these, the Lion is higher, but the author listed an actual scramble to the top as being optional.

Another of the Wainwrights requiring a slight scramble to reach the true summit is the 2,142 ft Harter Fell above the Duddon Valley and Eskdale. People making the ascent will note both from their Ordnance Survey maps and the evidence of their own eyes that the trig point does not mark the true summit.

However, Wainwright's true summit requires no difficulty in climbing. Haystacks was his favourite for the views and also its scenery, dotted with outcrops and tarns. It was here, by the shore of Innominate Tarn, that Wainwright's ashes were scattered after he died in 1991.

Visitors to this and other fells may agree; so beautiful are the Lake District fells that even climbing the highest mountains in the world cannot beat them.