Challenge 8000 1997
Having climbed eight of the world's 8000m peaks, Hinkes planned to finish off the other six in one continuous expedition. Extremely generous sponsorship from Berghaus enabled him to 'buy into' other teams' permits, and make occasional use of helicopters to transfer between base camps. After reaching the summit of Lhotse, 8,511m on 23 May, he flew via Lukla to attempt Makalu, 8,481m, but already the monsoon was moving in, with higher temperatures and rockfall making any attempt suicidal. Kangchenjunga, 8,598m, was also out of the queston at this time, so he made a brief visit back home to 'recharge his batteries' (with beer and fish and chips). He then flew to Pakistan for an attempt on Nanga Parbat, 8,125m, which had already received some ascents that season. A week after dumping some equipment near Camp I he discovered that it had been stolen, but then some flour on a chapati caused him to sneeze so violently that he seriously injured his back. He crawled down some 600m until a helicopter could fly him to Islamabad for treatment. The 1997 attempt was over, but he is determined to return in 1998.