Today we saw a chap called Vince give a talk about a trek he made in 1997 to K2 Base Camp, to lay a plaque to his relative, Jeff Lakes, who died whilst descending K2 in 1995, a couple of days after Alison Hargreaves was blown off that mountain. The incident is reported here.
The talk, sponsored by the National Trust, took place in a school hall in Solihull and was attended by about 60 people. It soon became apparent that they had braved the Midlands rain (it had been fine in Timperley) out of habit rather than desire for this particular talk. Sue and I were the only people there (apart from Vince) who had heard of Al Hinkes or any of the people in the 1995 drama on K2, on which Vince spun his own particular version. The slides moved slowly on to Vince’s own trek, which looked like a normal, fully supported, Himalayan walk-in, in fabulous weather with photos of K2 and the other four 8000 metre peaks in that area of northern Pakistan. Excellent holiday snaps, but sadly lacking in any flora or fauna, and a paucity of close-ups and ‘action’ shots.
But Vince is a big man with a booming voice and he had all the accoutrements – pictures for sale, maps of the route, publicity boards, a ‘K2 Trek’ printed shirt, etc.
There was a short question session after the talk. “Would you go again?” Vince was asked. And his answer was emphatic, and in my opinion sad: “No.” His was a one-off trip to lay a plaque (and provide him with an enduring presentation).
It was a pleasant evening out with Sue’s mum, and a chance to make one of those rare visits to her parents.
Today’s photo is of Dhaulagiri (8167m) from the Kaligandaki Gorge in the Annapurna region, taken in 2004. I’ve not been to Pakistan, but may be tempted one day…