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Film  ·  Events  ·  Culture  ·  People  ·  14-17 Nov 2019

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Al Burgess

One half of the identical Burgess twins, known to all as Aid and Al, who became renegade climbers from an early age; the stuff of on- and off-the-rock legends for decades, from the 1960s onwards.

Al's expeditions to K2, Everest, and other behemoths may have been successful, but also memorable for other reasons. Such as brewing ale at K2's 17,500ft base camp to keep people occupied. The twins claim that many of their legendary exploits never happened — at least not as far as they can recall - but as the old Sherpa saying advises: "Maybe true. Maybe not true. Better you believe."

Aid and Al grew up exploring and climbing in their backyard, the Yorkshire Moors. By 1966 they desired higher mountains and took their first trip to the Alps. A place they spent almost a decade challenging themselves on jagged peaks and winter ascents.

In 1973 the brothers and a couple of friends bought an old van and took a road trip to India. They climbed their first Himalayan peak, although were not convinced driving was the most efficient way to climb the highest mountains. A few months later they were off again, this time on a 12 month journey taking them up the south face of Mt. McKinley. The trip continued down to the southern tip of South America where they climbed in Patagonia and Peru.

Alan and Aid published an autobiography, The Burgees Book of Lies. Alan now lives in the USA.

Al Burgess

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