Mick Burke (mountaineer)

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Mick Burke (1941 – 1975) was an English mountaineer and climbing cameraman.

Burke developed his own climbing career in the UK and established new routes in the Alps and in the USA. He later trained as a cameraman. Burke came to wider recognition through a number of British-led mountaineering expeditions during the 1960s and 1970s. These included expeditions led by Chris Bonington to Annapurna and an unsuccessful attempt on Mount Everest's south-west face in 1972.

Burke was part of Bonington's 1975 Everest expedition, again to climb the south-west face. Burke's role was primarily as a climber, but he also provided high altitude film coverage for the BBC film crew accompanying the expedition.[1] Following Dougal Haston and Doug Scott's first ascent of the face and successful climb to the summit, Burke was part of a second summit push, from which he did not return. He was last seen alive "heading upwards, a few hundred metres from the summit",[2] but it is not known for sure that he reached the highest point. The weather began to deteriorate rapidly just after he was last seen, and within hours storms had set in which lasted for two days, precluding any rescue attempt by his companions who were themselves marooned in the top camp until the storms abated. His body was never recovered.

In Burke's memory the BBC created the Mick Burke Award, which was jointly run by the BBC and the Royal Geographical Society.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chris Bonington, Everest The Hard Way, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1976
  2. ^ Chris Bonington and Charles Clarke, Everest – The Unclimbed Ridge, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1983, p. 25

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