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  • Lighthouse, Poole's Centre for the Arts 21 Kingsland Road, Poole Dorset BH15 1UG England (map)


Like most accidents it happened on the way down. Stephen Venables and three other top British climbers had just made the first ascent of a remote Himalayan peak called Panch Chuli V. The fifth member of the team, Chris Bonington, was waiting at the camp which they had left before dawn. Descending through the night, exhausted after nearly twenty-four hours on the move, the summit team had almost reached the safety of camp when disaster struck. The anchor securing the abseil ropes failed sending Venables plunging down the mountainside. 

Stephen was astonished to regain consciousness and realise he had survived the 80 metre fall, but not without serious injury. Crippled with two broken legs and at nearly 6,000 metres above sea level, with a maze of complex ice falls blocking the way down to the valley, he was in a desperate predicament.

What followed was a long painful struggle, but with thanks to the courage and determination of his companions and a good does of luck, Stephen Venables did eventually escape. The story of that escape, recorded in his acclaimed book "A Slender Thread", is a gripping, touching and humorous tale of survival against the odds.  

Stephen's talk will support the work of Community Action Nepal.

Tickets: Adult £16.76 (including £1.75 commission); Senior/Access to Leisure £14.75 (including £1.75 commission); Student/Under 18: £13.00. 

For tickets and further information contact Box Office on 01202 280000 or via email on