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Learning to Breathe - 25/09/2009

How does a coal miner from Barnsley go on to become a figurehead for British mountaineering?

Andy Cave's moving account of his decision to break with family tradition by leaving the grime of the pit for a life of adventure, becoming an internationally acclaimed mountaineer along the way, was the subject of his first book and best-seller, Learning to Breathe - joint winner of the Boardman Tasker Prize for mountain literature in 2005.  

You can hear Andy at Caernarfon's Galeri recount this story and talk about how the greatest climb of his life turned to tradegy in the Himalaya, when one of the climbing team paid the ultimate price for total commitment.

Descending from the summit of Changabang after a successful ascent of its north face, Andy watched his climbing partner, Brendan Murphy, being swept to his death by an avalanche. The honest account of his struggle to come to terms with this loss and the need to take a hard look at where you daw the line at what is acceptable risk became the subject of his 2008 book, Thin White Line.

As a presentation that gives you an insight into how the miners strike destroyed communities and the motivation behind seeking out difficult challenges on breath-taking mountains around the world, it is unique.

Andy recalls: “This passion of mine started long ago when, as an inquisitive child, I scrambled up the local pit muckstack. Later, as a teenage coal miner disillusioned with the world of dirt and darkness, I had fallen in love with real mountain climbing.”   

Andy Cave has a PhD in socio-linguistics and is an International Mountain Guide. You can find out more about Andy at www.andycave.net

Location: Galeri, Caernarfon, 7.30 p.m. (Booking 01286 685222)

More Info: www.speakersfromtheedge.com/events/andy-cave-tour-autumn-09

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