`Fed-up' Alison Hargreaves wanted to quit climbing
Saturday 02 September 1995
During a moving account of her life as a climber, tape-recorded in her tent on the mountain, Hargreaves said she was "pissed off" with people "collecting" mountains to please sponsors.
The interview, published in the Independent Weekend section today, was conducted on 27 July, three weeks before her death and four days after a failed attempt to reach the summit resulted in her camping out without a tent a few hundred metres short of the peak.
It was conducted by Matt Comeskey, a New Zealand climber who abandoned an assault on the summit on 13 August, the day Hargreaves and five other climbers conquered the mountain and paid with their lives. A seventh climber died the following day.
Asked by Mr Comeskey whether she would consider giving up climbing and spending more time with her children, Tom, six, and Kate, four, Hargreaves replied: "I am, actually ... because I'm so pissed off with the way things are going in climbing. People have always been competitive, which I think is fine. But people are getting so dishonest about things and it pisses me off."
The "dishonesty" to which she refers involves climbers systematically tackling peaks over 8,000m - often by the easiest routes available - simply to attract sponsorship. "This Himalayan game - I don't mind the competition, it's good, healthy - but I think it's getting a bit silly," she said. "So at the moment I'm not sure whether I'll continue to be a 100-per-cent professional climber."
Within minutes, however, she appears to contradict herself, indicating that she was torn between her career and her children. Having criticised other climbers for collecting 8,000m peaks, she tells Mr Comeskey that after climbing K2, the second-highest mountain in the world, she will start planning for an assault on Kanchenjunga, the third highest - if she can take her children.
"It is something I feel I might be very keen to quickly get things rolling. But, I mean, obviously kids are a big consideration if they're going to come with me to camp," she says.
During the interview, Hargreaves generously credits another climber, New Zealander Lydia Bradey, with being the first woman to climb Everest without oxygen. Ms Bradey claimed the distinction more than six years ago, but she failed to take pictures, splitting the climbing community into believers and non-believers.
Hargreaves says she believes Ms Bradey, but stresses that her own claim is to have been the first to conquer the mountain alone, without oxygen and without porters.
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Wreckage could be found within a week as search reaches 'very critical juncture', says minister
South Korea ferry disaster: Released transcripts show chaos and confusion in the moments before ferry sinks
Unbeliebable: The White House offer 'no comment' to anti-Justin Bieber petition
Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Abdullah Deghayes: My son was the martyr of a just cause, says father of British teenager killed in Syria conflict
Ukraine crisis: Helicopter gunships take country closer to all-out war
- 1 Chelsea 1 Sunderland 2: Graceless reaction of Jose Mourinho a sad effort to hide his own flaws
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Unbeliebable: The White House offer 'no comment' to anti-Justin Bieber petition
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
£130 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Secondary Geography Teacher Lo...
£55 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Are you a dynamic and energeti...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: SEN TAs, LSAs and Support Workers needed...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: The Sheffield office of this...