Event Detail

21
Sep
2009

Eiger to Everest

Stephen Venables
Monday, 21 Sep 2009
Venue TBC
The RGS is delighted to welcome Stephen Venables, Britain's greatest active mountaineer. Mr. Venables has done innumerable famous climbs from the Eiger to Everest. He is perhaps most famous for achieving the first ascent of Everest by the Kangshung Face from the Chinese side, which he made without oxygen, reaching the summit alone. Because it was by then afternoon, he had to spend the night alone, just below the summit without a tent, then the highest ever camp, followed by an epic 3day descent without food. Mr. Venables also has many first ascents of other famous mountains to his name, in five continents. A suave, witty speaker, he frequently appears in documentaries, plus wrote some 15 books, including several bestsellers. He wrote the screen play and appeared in the movie Shackleton.

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THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY HONG KONG

presents


“Eiger to Everest"

by

Stephen Venables

President of the Alpine Club

on

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

2/F Olympic House, So Kong Po, Causeway Bay

Drinks Reception and Book Signing 6.00 pm; Lecture 7.30 pm

followed by a Dinner at 9.00 pm in Mr Venables’s honour at the Hong Kong Football Club

We are delighted and honoured to welcome to Hong Kong Stephen Venables, one of the world's greatest mountaineers. Mr. Venables has done innumerable famous climbs from the Eiger to Everest. He is perhaps most famous for achieving the first ascent of Everest by the huge Kangshung Face from the Chinese side, which he made without oxygen, reaching the summit alone. Because it was by then afternoon, he had to spend the night alone, just below the summit without a tent, then the highest ever bivouac, followed by an epic 3day descent without food. Mr. Venables also has many first ascents of other famous mountains to his name, in five continents. A suave, witty speaker, he frequently appears in documentaries, plus has written some 15 books, including several bestsellers.

Mr. Venables’s early mountain experiences were skiing and walking in the British mountains and the Alps. His first technical rock climbs were at Pontresina and Fontainebleau with his first big alpine climb in the Dauphiné. Mr. Venables’s most famous Alpine climbs include Aiguille Verte Nant Blanc Face, Matterhorn Zmutt Ridge, Mont Blanc de Cheilon N Face, Aiguille du Plan N Face (solo), Aletschorn N Face (solo), and a new route on the celebrated north face of the Eiger. Of the North Face he wrote “at a purely geomorphological level it is mesmerising: the great concave limestone triangle which rises so brutally out of the meadows of Alpiglen – it is the biggest continuous mountain wall in Western Europe, nearly a mile wide at its base and over a mile high, dotted with ledges, ramps and infamous icefields demanding from any climber the uttermost of skill, stamina and courage".

Mr. Venables soon turned his attention to the Himalayas, with several new routes in the Hindu Kush, including the first ascent of Kishtwar Shivling, and the first ascent of Solu Tower in the Karakorum. Following several other climbs, he achieved worldwide fame for his Everest expedition on the Kangshung Face. Following several other Himalayan first ascents, he turned his attention to Bolivia with new routes in Cordilleras Vilcanota and Real, South Georgia, with the first ascent of Mt Carse, and Tierra del Fuego. He also led various climbing trips to Africa, Canada and the USA. In 2000, he was chosen with Conrad Anker and Reinhold Messner, as perhaps the world’s three greatest active mountaineers, to star in the film Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure which played world wide.

Stephen Venables was educated at Charterhouse and at New College, Oxford University. In addition to his mountain fame, he is a prolific writer, with articles published in more than 30 publications including Mountain, American Alpine Journal, Geographical, Yachting Monthly, Condé Nast Traveller, Sunday Times, and the Observer. He has published some ten books, including Everest Alone at the Summit, Island at the Edge of the World – A South Georgia Odyssey, A Slender Thread, The Story of Everest and Everest – Summit of Achievement. Mr Venables has also appeared in several documentaries about mountaineering, including To the Third Pole, Beating the Blizzards and Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure. He holds seven prizes for literature, including the WH Smith Travel Book Award. He has lectured to over 100 organisations in some 20 countries. Mr. Venables has been Chairman of the Mount Everest Foundation, President of the Alpine Club and Vice President of the British Mountaineering Institution.

Members and their guests are most welcome to attend this lecture, which is HK$100 for Members and HK$150 for guests and others.

All Members, with their guests, are cordially invited to a dinner in Mr. Venables’s honour, following the lecture, at The Hong Kong Football Club. If you wish to book places for the dinner, please complete the attached form. Please note that there are a limited number of places available and these will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Stephen Venables Dinner

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

The Hong Kong Football Club

See other events in 2009