||Hargreaves, Alison (1962-1995)|
||Diminutive in stature, and demure in appearance, Hargreaves appeared at first sight to make an unlikely high altitude mountaineer. However, beneath a motherly exterior lay a powerful strength and energy and an immense ambition. Hargreaves was already well known in climbing circles by the late 1980s, particularly in the Peak District, thanks to her rock-climbing exploits, and she made brief public headlines with her 1988 ascent of the North Face of the Eiger while 6 months pregnant. But it wasn’t until a conscious decision to develop a climbing career plan in the early 1990s that her media-driven mountaineering really took off. There followed a whirlwind of publicity after she soloed 6 alpine North Faces in the summer of 1993, while a partly manufactured ‘competition’ between her and Catherine Destivelle was encouraged by sections of the media. Hargreaves saw the road to financial security lay in prestige ascents of the 8000m peaks and pulled off an impressive oxygenless solo ascent of Everest’s NE Ridge in 1995, becoming the first British woman to do so. It was while attempting the double on K2 later in the same year that she met with disaster after a freak storm engulfed the mountain while she descended.
Further reading: Regions of the Heart, David Rose & Ed Douglas. Michael Joseph, 1999.
||Biographical information is kindly supplied by Colin Wells.|
||Hargreaves, Alison (1962-1995)
||British University Film and Video Council