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Inspirational Headmaster's Lecture from climber Ben Heason

On Friday 22 September we welcomed Ben Heason, world renowned British climber, to give the first of this academic year's Headmaster's Lectures.

Ben has been climbing since a young child but it was at university that he took his interest in climbing to a new level, climbing every weekend and even building a climbing wall in his bedroom so he could practice and hone his skills in his own time.  This dedication clearly paid off as he is now a professional climber, adventurer and climbing coach as well as an inspiring motivational speaker.   He has climbed literally thousands of routes around the world but his talk on Friday concentrated on perhaps his biggest challenge of all.   Ben was part of a small group of climbers who completed the first free-climbed ascent of the main wall of the Angel Falls in Venezuela, described as 'one of the finest achievements by British climbers on foreign soil.'  

The Milton Abbey community could not be failed to be impressed and awed by the enormity of the challenge that Ben's films and photos clearly portrayed.  Angel Falls itself, over ten times higher than Big Ben, appeared to be utterly impossible to climb let alone live on, yet the team spent more than two weeks on the wall - sleeping, eating and living there as they made their slow ascent.   For those of us lacking a head for heights, some of the images were difficult to take in!  

Ben met Mr Hamer and members of the school's new climbing club for supper in the Abbot's Hall ahead of the talk.  He was clearly impressed by how much the climbing group has done this term and by the pupils' enthusiasm.   In turn, pupils, staff and visitors were left amazed by Ben's achievements and by the mental and physical strength it took for him to overcome the seemingly insurmountable difficulties the group faced on their historic climb of Angel Falls.