Topsham man's climbing code respected

By Graham Britton. BRAVE mountaineers have received awards for helping people whose lives are endangered while climbing – and in doing so have followed a code of practice launched by a Topsham man. Norman Croucher OBE, of White Street, is a member of the

By Graham Britton

BRAVE mountaineers have received awards for helping people whose lives are endangered while climbing - and in doing so have followed a code of practice launched by a Topsham man.

Norman Croucher OBE, of White Street, is a member of the Alpine Club, the oldest mountaineering organisation in the world.

The 68-year-old set up an initiative as part of the club after several incidents where climbers had ignored people who were sick, injured - or even dying - in 'self-centred bids for summit glory'.


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Bravery presentations were made two weeks ago to six climbers who rescued a Spanish alpinist from a Himalayan mountain - endorsing Norman's code.

The commendations aim to recognise people who have forsaken their own objectives to assist those whose lives are at risk.

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Speaking about the Spirit of Mountaineering event which he attended in Chamonix, France, where the presentations were made, Norman said: "It was a great day.

"The event was so well attended there had to be a screen put up in an overflow room for people to watch."

Norman, who has climbed more than 50 mountains, was run over by a train which cut off his legs when he was aged nineteen.

He added: "People in our society generally tend to be concerned with winning at all costs which I find questionable.

"Certainly, in a mountaineering context I don't agree with that mindset hence why I set up the code."

Norman was made an OBE in 1977 for services to promoting adventure sports for people with disabilities.

Reflecting on his life's achievements, in a humble fashion he merely said: "It's been hard work!"

But, he added: "Setting up the code is the one thing I'm most proud of - people adhering to this is of utmost importance."

Of his greatest mountain successes, high-altitude climber Norman, notably, scaled Himalayan peak Cho Oyo in Tibet in 1995, which has a height of 26,906ft.

ENDS

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