Mountaineer discusses ‘failing gracefully’


A Dunedin mountaineer will be talking about his recent failings in the Himalayas during this month’s slide night at Adventure Books.

The Harbour St bookstore, which holds one slide night a month, will be hosting Paul Hersey this Wednesday.

Adventure Books owner Bill Nye said the talk would be particularly interesting, as the mountaineer would be drawing from his own experiences to speak about the risks he faced and decisions he made in the Himalayas.

Mr Hersey tried to climb a high peak earlier this year and got hit with high altitude cerebral edema, which causes swelling in the brain, causing him to stop climbing, Mr Nye said.

His wife and another climber kept going, but a bad snow storm caused them to also retreat for fear of an avalanche, he said.

“He’s talking about failing gracefully.”

It will relate to the everyday person, as it is a presentation about decision-making, which everyone does each day,” Mr Nye said.

Mr Hersey, who also surfs, has done research on many major mountaineering disasters.

The monthly talks at Adventure Books have proved popular, with nearly 50 people coming to each presentation to hear stories and socialise.

“It is a fun night,” Mr Nye said.

The talk, FAILING GRACEFULLY – Adventure, Risk and Decision Making in the Nepal Himalaya, will be at Adventure Books on Harbour St on Wednesday, June 18, from 6.30pm to 7.45pm.

Drinks and nibbles will be available.


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