Hinkes flies home after ordeal

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The Independent Online
Alan Hinkes, the British mountaineer, arrived home yesterday and vowed to continue his attempt to become the first Briton - and only the sixth person in the world - to climb all 14 of the world's mountains over 8,000 metres.

Hinkes, 43, was stranded on a Himalayan mountain for more than a week with a slipped disc, after the flour on a chapati made him sneeze while he was halfway up the 8,128m (26,660ft) Nanga Parbat in Pakistan. After enduring a week in which he could barely move, he was eventually evacuated by helicopter.

Yesterday he tucked into a more familiar meal, fish and chips, and insisted that he would renew his efforts to climb the last 5 of the 14once he is fit again.

He has already conquered the two highest, Everest and K2, but admitted his embarrassment at being laid low by a humble chapati.

"I was in bad shape anyway because my body was starting to waste away. At the time I thought I was dying. I was stuck for about a weekand I was beginning to get a bit worried." Charles Arthur