The First Ascent of the Angel Falls: the World’s Highest Waterfall
Lecture by: Ben Heason
Location: Ming Hua College, Glenealy, Central (this convenient location is situated opposite the Fringe Club)
2014-11-06 – Drinks Reception 6.30 pm; Lecture 7.30 pm
The Royal Geographical Society is delighted to welcome Ben Heason to lecture on “The First Ascent of the Angel Falls: the World’s Highest Waterfall”, a talk which has been given over 200 times worldwide. The stunning Angel Falls in Venezuela have attracted adventurers for centuries, with the first purported sighting by Sir Walter Raleigh, with thousands trekking through the jungles annually to see them. They have also attracted adventurous climbers for decades, but all previous attempts to free-climb the main wall of the waterfall had met with failure. In this lecture, Ben Heason tells the story of his audacious expedition to the heart of the Venezuelan jungle, achieving one of the world’s most famous rock climbs on a natural wonder of the world. In a finely illustrated lecture, he tells of the extraordinary effort taken to climb the overhanging great wall of the falls, nearly a kilometre high, together with the emotions and experiences encountered along the way.
In 2005, Ben Heason was appointed the lead climber of an international expedition which planned to make the long hoped for first free-climbing ascent of the main wall of the Angel Falls. As the highest continuous waterfall in the world, the Angel Falls stands at a colossal height of 979 meters (3,230 feet) over the jungles below, overhanging virtually throughout. His much celebrated climb took 20 days on the rock, representing one of the finest rock climbing achievements of the 21st century. Mr Heason’s talk covers the whole adventure, including the 6-day journey to their base camp, including the amazing flora and fauna found in the areas. He also discusses the unique Tepuis table mountains, in the area that inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel ‘The Lost World’. Most excitingly he describes the literal ‘life on the edge’ of the climb, with his team spending 14 consecutive nights sleeping on portaledges suspended by ropes from the overhanging wall.
As well as illustrating a lust for adventurous travel and a keen interest for the diverse cultures along the way, Mr Heason’s lecture focuses on the excitement, dangers and apprehension the team experienced. He also discusses the planning, preparation, teamwork and determined approach that were required to succeed on such a demanding climb. Together, the story, stunning photographs, insightful video clips and, above all, his enthusiastic delivery, make for a stunning lecture.
One of the UK’s leading climbers, Ben Heason has been climbing full time for over 15 years. He is world-renowned for his bold climbing on routes at the cutting edge of the sport, including his impressive exploits on big wall expeditions around the globe. During that time he has travelled extensively and has climbed an astonishing 8,000 routes throughout the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Greece, Slovenia, Jordan, Mali, Egypt, Morocco, Norway, Greenland, Canada, USA, Venezuela, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and Thailand. He speaks worldwide on climbing, having given nearly 500 talks globally.
Members and their guests are most welcome to attend this event, which is HK$150 for Members and HK$200 for guests and others.