Alan Hinkes Update: Alan
Hinkes has filed his first report from the Himalaya. He arrived safely in
Nepal last week and took up residence in a hotel in Kathmandu. Once there, he
made contact with Bikrum, his agent there, and has been busy finalising the
details of his permit to climb Dhaulagiri.
The last few days have been a
little frustrating for Alan as the Maoists called a bandh, or general strike,
in Kathmandu and the city ground to a halt. All of the shops have been closed
and there have been no vehicles on the road. The threat of Maoist
recriminations has ensured that the bandh has been strictly observed. Bikrum's
office has been empty and Alan has struggled to manage any administration or
even get his equipment out of storage to check over. There have been a few
demonstrations and the occasional riot involving the police. Otherwise, the
streets have been very quiet and the smog has lifted a little, which is one
pleasant side effect. The other is that bicycle travel is still 'permitted'
and Alan has found it quick and easy to get around the deserted roads using
The bandh is due to finish
imminently, so Alan is confident that he can finish his preparations and start
his trek to the road head at Beni on Monday or Tuesday. It looks like the
Maoists may continue to interfere with Alan's plans, as there are rumoured to
be many of them around the Beni area. He may end up having to pay Maoists for
further access beyond the road head (a sort of unofficial tax), but as a good
Yorkshireman is hopeful that this will be a modest one off fee! He'll be sure
to get a receipt just in case he meets any more 'taxmen' and needs to prove
that he has already paid up.
Alan comments: "Nothing is
ever simple in Nepal and there's always something other than the mountain to
test me! Despite delays, I should be able to get cracking with my final
preparations over the weekend, pack my Berghaus expedition backpack and head
off on the trek early next week. This all means that a mid-May summit is still
possible, with a couple of summit windows available after that if necessary.
Keeping in touch with the outside world will be tricky during the trek, but I
will do my best to send updates through Bikrum's office and by satellite
telephone to the team back at Berghaus."
Some of EverestNews.com
past coverage of Alan is below...
Alan Hinkes Annapurna 2002
Kangchenjunga 2003 Alan Hinkes
Hinkes Spring Makalu 99
Alan Hinkes Q&A
Kangchenjunga 2000 Alan Hinkes