mountaineer's new ambition - appearing on JAM
from The Sunday Sun
TOP climber Alan Hinkes has summit new to shout about from the highest peaks.
The North mountaineer became the first Briton to climb all 14 of the world’s highest mountains in 2002 and successfully climbed a previously unconquered 5,000ft peak north of the Himalayas in Kazakhstan.
To mark his achievement he has been asked to name the mountain and has decided upon Mount Fiona in honour of his daughter.
Awarded an MBE in 2006, Hinkes, 56, from North Yorkshire, always carries a photograph of Fiona wherever he goes.
He has just finished his latest challenge of climbing the 39 highest points in the English shire counties in a record time of only seven days.
But his “love for the hills, mountains and cliff faces” means he’ll never stop finding new tests to set himself, and he’s not ready to hang up his boots just yet.
Alan is already preparing himself for a crack at the coast to coast walk, devised in 1972 by Alfred Wainwright, which begins in West Cumbria, on the shores of the Irish Sea, then crosses the coastal plain, the Lake District, the Pennines and the North York Moors, and ends on the North Sea coast at Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire.
He said: “It would be great to go all round Briton and see every bit of it, but you need something to focus on instead of aimlessly travelling.”
One of his long-term goals is to climb many more of the unconquered mountain ranges that exist across the UK and the world.
“There are so many beautiful sights to see and new places to explore and discover, I don’t think one man could possibly do everything in one lifetime. But I’m going to give it a go,” he added.
Alongside that he would also like to tackle the highest mountain ranges in Scotland, the Munros. Named after Sir Hugh T. Munro, they measure over 3,000 ft. Currently, there are 283 Munros and a further 227 Tops.
“Usually, this takes about 10 years” said Alan. “However, it has been done in three months before, and I’d like to beat that record . . . or at least level with it!”
As well as raising awareness for Mountain Rescue England and Wales and doing charity work, Alan is also very concerned about obesity and healthy eating in Britain.
He hopes that his passion and enthusiasm for hill walking and mountaineering will rub off on others. “Exercise is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and getting outside in the countryside is a wonderful way to do that,” he added.
Not all Alan’s future ambitions are mountain orientated, though. One of his favourite radio channels is Channel Four and he is a huge fan of “Just a Minute”, the popular talk show hosted by Nicholas Parsons, where contestants have to speak for a whole minute without repetition, deviation or hesitation.
“There are some challenges in life, then there’s Just A Minute” said Alan. “I’d love to be invited onto the show someday.”