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Denise Prior CAN 05 Nov 2019

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London: Mountain Escapes - epic tales of mountain survival in Europe, Asia and South America

with Chris Bonington, Clive Rowland, Doug Scott CBE, Paul (Tut) Braithwaite and Simon Yates

Royal Geographical Society London SW7 2AR – Thursday 21 November 2019 

The most safety-conscious, organised and experienced mountaineer can suddenly find himself caught up in a rogue avalanche, rock-fall or a blizzard. At this evening of mountaineering talks, you will hear accounts of rescue from the brink of death in Europe, Asia and South America by some of Britain’s greatest mountaineers.

Chris Bonington and Don Whillans were at the foot of the Eiger’s Second Icefield in July 1962 staring across at its vast, stone-pocked expanse of grey ice. Suddenly there was a different sound to that of falling rocks, a sort of ‘whoosh’ that filled the face as a man slid down the ice and then catapulted into space below. This was Barry Brewster, an intense but brilliant twenty-two-year-old rock climber, who had broken his back in an earlier fall from the rocks of the Flatiron and had never fully regained consciousness before being swept by a rock avalanche from his small ledge. His climbing partner, Brian Nally, whom Chris only knew by reputation, had made the first British ascent of the Matterhorn’s north face.  This is the story of Brian’s rescue of using Don’s inspired route-finding. 

In a rare public appearance, Clive Rowland will describe his part with Mo Anthoine in the eight-day rescue of Doug Scott and Chris Bonington off the 24,000 foot Ogre in the Karakorum. Scott had broken legs abseiling from the summit whilst Bonington had smashed his ribs shooting off the end of a rope, then developed pneumonia. This is a story of self-reliance and selfless teamwork. With Scott and Braithwaite.  

Simon Yates will talk about how he felt rescuing his climbing partner Joe Simpson on one of the highest unclimbed mountain walls of Peru, the West Face of the Siule Grande in 1985. Simpson’s own account of the adventure is widely known since he wrote the best-selling book Touching The Void, which was and later turned into the acclaimed docu-drama film. Now we can hear from Simon about how it was for him.

A Q&A with the speakers, including Braithwaite and Scott will follow the talk. 

Sir Chris Bonington, CAN’s patron, replaces Dr Oswald Oetz who has had to drop out due to ill health.

This evening will support the work of Community Action Nepal, founded by Doug Scott 25 years ago to help some of the poorest mountain communities in Nepal help themselves. He will show a new short film by Jon Maguire about the charity’s work. There will also be an auction of framed mountaineering prints.

Chris Bonington, Doug Scott and Simon Yates also be signing copies of their books, including Doug’s recently published book The Ogre and his posters, before the talk and during the interval.

Date & time:  Thursday 21st November from 7.00 – 10.30 pm (doors open 6.00 pm).

Venue:            Royal Geographical Society, London SW7 2AR (Exhibition Road entrance)

Tickets:           £25 general admission / £15 concession (group of 10+ / student / U18).

Online:      https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/london-mountain-escapes-accounts-of-rescuefrom-the-brink-of-death-tickets-59573271258  

Contact: Susan Conning call 07986 855448 / or email susieconning@canepal.org.uk

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