Alison Hargreaves

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Alison Hargreaves
Tom Frost - Climbers on Kangtega - 1986.jpg
Alison Hargreaves and Jeff Lowe climbing Kangtega, 1 May 1986
Personal information
Nationality English
Born (1962-02-17)February 17, 1962
Derbyshire
Died August 13, 1995(1995-08-13) (aged 33)
Climbing career
Type of climber Mountaineering

Alison Jane Hargreaves (February 17, 1962 – August 13, 1995) was an English mountain climber from Derbyshire. Her accomplishments included scaling Mount Everest alone without supplementary oxygen in 1995. She soloed all the great north faces of the Alps in a single season—a first for any climber.[1] This feat included climbing the difficult north face of the Eiger in the Alps in 1993. Hargreaves also climbed 6,812-metre (22,349 ft) Ama Dablam in Nepal.

In 1995 Alison Hargreaves intended to climb the three highest mountains in the world—Mount Everest, K2 and Kangchenjunga—unaided. On 13 May 1995 she reached the summit of Everest without the aid of Sherpas or bottled oxygen.[2]

Hargreaves had been pregnant with her first child Tom, when she climbed the Eiger North.[3]

K2 climb[edit]

After a brief return to the United Kingdom to visit her family, she left in June 1995 to join an American team which had gained a permit to climb 8,611-metre (28,251 ft) K2, the world's second tallest mountain, located in Pakistan. K2 is regarded as a significantly more difficult and dangerous climb than Mt Everest. By August 13, 1995, the remnants of the US team and Hargreaves had joined forces with a New Zealand and Canadian team at Camp 4, around 7,600 metres (24,900 ft) above sea level, and at least 12 hours from the summit. Later that day, having joined with a Spanish team of mountaineers above Camp 4, New Zealander Peter Hillary (son of Everest pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary) decided to turn back, noting that the weather that had been fine for the previous four days appeared to be changing.[4] At 6:45pm, in fine conditions, Hargreaves and Javier Olivar (Spain) reached the summit, followed by Rob Slater (US), Javier Escartín (Spain), Lorenzo Ortíz (Spain) and Bruce Grant (NZ). All, however, died in a violent storm while returning from the summit.[5] Canadian Jeff Lakes, who had turned back below the summit earlier, managed to reach one of the lower camps, but died from the effects of exposure.[1][2]

The next day, two Spanish climbers, Pepe Garces and Lorenzo Ortas (not Lorenzo Ortíz, who was killed in the storm), were descending the mountain. They had survived the storm at Camp 4, but were suffering from frostbite and exhaustion. Before reaching Camp 3 they found a bloodstained anorak, a climbing boot and a harness. They recognised the equipment as belonging to Hargreaves. From Camp 3 they could also see a body in the distance. They did not approach the body, so it was not positively identified, but they had little doubt it was Hargreaves and concluded that she had been blown off the mountain during the storm.[6][7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Scottish Climber Alison Hargreaves and Six Others Killed on K2 by Paul Roberts
  2. ^ a b Alison Hargreaves Biographical entry from EverestNews.com
  3. ^ Our Amazing Planet Staff (April 30, 2012). "8 Unsung Women Explorers". LiveScience.com. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  4. ^ In the name of the father: The 1995 K2 Expedition by Peter Hillary
  5. ^ The Last Ascent of Alison Hargreaves by Greg Child. Originally from Outside magazine, November 1995
  6. ^ K2: the final hours The Independent, 20 August 1995
  7. ^ Extract from The Sunday Times, 3 December 1995

Sources[edit]