News The photo that the mother of a suicide victim sends along with his ashes to strangers so her thrill-seeking son can fulfill his dream of travelling the world

Hundreds of strangers on Facebook have helped Hallie Twomey with her mission

Peak practice

Michael Ward's `footprints' are all over the Royal Geographical Society's map of Mount Everest. He helped fill in the blanks

BOOK REVIEW / An Audenary boy who went from bad to verse: Juvenilia: Poems 1922-28 - W H Auden, Faber, 25 pounds

IN RECENT times there has been plenty of anxious talk about the harmful effects of violent videos, but what about the risks involved in letting innocent youngsters loose on Romantic poetry? In 1922 - a great year for literature, what with Ulysses and The Waste Land - an earnest schoolboy called Wystan Auden came upon Shelley, and then attended a lecture about Mount Everest. The consequences were frightening:

Pembroke: Forging a career as a business angel

MICHAEL STODDART, chairman of the venture capital group Electra, has been doing a bit of business angel work on his own account. Together with his son James, he has pumped pounds 100,000 into an art company which, to simplify, specialises in 'forgeries'.

Mount Everest expedition is fined pounds 67,000

A BRITISH expedition that included the actor Brian Blessed has been fined dollars 100,000 ( pounds 67,000) for climbing Mount Everest without the Nepalese government's permission.

Obituary: Karl Henize

Karl G. Henize, astrophysicist, astronaut: born Cincinnati 17 October 1926; Professor of Astronomy, Northwestern University, Illinois 1959-67; scientist- astronaut, National Aeronautics and Space Administration 1967-86, Senior Scientist, Space Sciences Branch, Johnson Space Center, Houston 1986- 93; married; died Mount Everest 5 October 1993.

Blessed defeat

The actor, Brian Blessed, abandoned his attempt to climb Mount Everest after his second assault on the Himalayan peak ended 2,000ft short of the summit.

Mountaineer's spectacular achievement goes unnoticed: Last month Jonathan Pratt became the first Briton to climb K2 and survive. But no one paid any attention, writes Will Bennett

THE TRIUMPH of Rebecca Stephens, who in May became the first British woman to reach the top of Mount Everest, received massive media coverage. Yet the spectacular achievement of Jonathan Pratt has been virtually ignored.

TRAVEL / Finding the right trek: Tourism is one of Nepal's biggest hard currency earners - and, unchecked, will devastate the environment. Can trekking be made eco-friendly? David Nicholson-Lord reports

RAJARAM, aged 19, is a young man with a mission. He gave up school at the age of 12, left the family farm, began a new life as a tourist guide. He struck gold recently when a French journalist gave him 3,000 rupees (worth pounds 12, enough to feed a small family for a month) to take him to the camps in the north of Nepal housing refugees from Bhutan. He gets his local knowledge from guidebooks, his command of English from tourists. His real aim, however, is to study economics at university. Why economics? 'It is a good way of making money.' You will find Rajaram, and hundreds more like him - many scarcely into their teens - in and around Kathmandu's Durbar Square. Or rather, they will find you - whether you like it or not. They are, collectively at least, one of the bigger nuisances facing the tourist in Nepal. They are also one of the more obvious signs of a society in such rapid transition that it is being stretched almost to breaking point.

Britons risk death to conquer the Pyramid of Storms: Will Bennett on climbers competing to reach the summit of K2, harder to scale than Everest

NO BRITISH climber has ever reached the summit of the notoriously dangerous Himalayan peak, K2, and lived to tell the story. Now two expeditions are competing to be the first to end a record of failure and tragedy.

Interview: Smiles on a summer night: Colin Nutley is unknown here, huge in Sweden. Now he's filming in Blackpool. Kevin Jackson met him

THE TROUBLE with the Swedes, Colin Nutley says, is that they just don't understand about Kendal Mint Cake. 'This was carried up Mount Everest in 1953, mate,' he explains, stuffing a generous lump in the hands of a bewildered Swedish sound engineer. 'The English - no, well, I suppose he was from New Zealand, really, wasn't he? - but, anyway, Sir Edmund Hillary took this up Mount Everest with him. Now the Swedes only managed to get up Everest a year ago. Why? Because they didn't have Kendal Mint Cake.' His sound engineer gaves the lump a tentative nibble. 'What do you reckon?' Nutley asks. Awkward pause. 'Umm . . . sweet', comes the diplomatic reply.

I'm on top of the world, says Everest woman: An 'obsessed amateur' yesterday became the first British woman to reach the summit of the world's highest mountain. Alex Renton reports

REBECCA STEPHENS, the first British woman to climb Mount Everest, was back at her camp on the South Col last night, gathering strength for her descent.

What's so heroic about climbing Everest?: The cult of heroism and celebrity undermines moral values, says David Nicholson-Lord

THE MORNING after Rebecca Stephens' record- breaking ascent of Everest is a good time to celebrate heroism. The hero - or heroine - I have in mind lives in a quiet way, doing a job he or she may find physically taxing or mentally exhausting. It might be paid employment in the health services or voluntary sector; or unpaid work looking after a difficult relative. Spare-time commitments would also qualify.

Peak form guide to the Mount Everest crowd

AS THE top of Everest becomes more and more crowded, it is becoming harder to work out who is actually up there, so to help you, here is a checklist of the teams currently attempting to climb the world's highest rubbish dump.

Woman to try Everest today

REBECCA STEPHENS, 31, will attempt today to become the first British woman to climb Mount Everest with a dash to the summit before storms that are forecast to close in tomorrow. Her expedition leader, John Barry, 46, had to turn back yesterday morning after spending three days 26,000 feet up at the South Col.
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