Monday, November 19, 2007

Hinkes' 8000 metre descent to the welsh coast

I spent last weekend working for the British Mountaineering Council at the Kendal Mountain Film Festival. Manning a small show stand in a draughty marquee all weekend is the sort of experience that could test the resiliance of the toughest. Wise and well travelled men can look lost in such places, those who have scaled the heights have been brought to their knees and hardy paddlers have all but drowned in their own tears in their attempts at dealing with the public. What chance would I have?

....... A warming glow .......

Last year's challenge was padded by the close proximity of 'John Mark and Robbo's Easy Drinking Whisky Co.' and their never ending supply of free samples, but I knew that this time they wouldn't be there. So imagine my delight upon arrival, at the sight of our neighbours for this year's festival weekend.

.......... and we all got along just fine, despite our differences (whatever they were).

From the mountains to the sea....

Among the greats of mountaineering that graced the BMC stand was Alan Hinkes who is the first British mountaineer to complete all of the world's 14 peaks over 8000 metres. Having marvelled at the views of South Stack and the sheer cliffs of Gogarth Bay, Mr Hinkes (left) enquired enthusiastically as to the nature of further adventures depicted in the 'Welsh Sea Kayaking' guidebook.

The reminiscence of his early days as an outdoor instructor in Northumberland included tales of paddling in huge seas and tide races around the Farne Islands and Lindisfarne. The subject moved on to future projects and the possibility of a sea kayakers guide to the shores of northern England and the Isle of Man grew with each golden sip of Orkney malt.

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