The Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre in association with the Dumfries and Galloway Autism Network is delighted to be hosting guest speaker Mark McGowan who will join us to recount the first successful ascent of the Eiger by a group of British Para-Climbers.
The lecture will take place in Dumfries on Wednesday 6 April at 6pm. This special event is to help promote and to celebrate World Autism Awareness Week (2 – 8 April).
In July 2015, led by Mark McGowan and Colin Gourlay, a team of para-climbers successfully summited the infamous Eiger in Switzerland. In the lecture, Mark will share the incredible story of their journey. The lecture will be supported by slides and short film footage describing the ascent and reflecting on the preparations, team dynamics and the wider implications of the epic three day Para-climb of the Eiger ending with a Question and Answer session with Mark.
Para-climbers Jay Owen who is autistic, John Churcher who has 3% vision, and Alex Taylor who has MS took on the Eiger Mountain, assisted by Mark and Colin, to raise awareness of what can be achieved in adventure despite disabilities. Their journey was wrought with challenges and the team were required to constantly adapt and invent new approaches to ensure their success.
Councillor Tom McAughtrie, who is Chairman of the Council’s Community and Customer Services Committee spoke ahead of the lecture;
“The achievement of these men in climbing Eiger is something that I am very proud our Council is involved in publicising. The Robert Burns Film Theatre is an excellent venue for talks of this nature. I am very much looking forward to hearing from the gentleman at the lecture, and would encourage any walking enthusiasts to attend to hear first-hand of their experiences. It is also a great way of raising awareness of Autism, something that our Council takes a strong lead on.”
Mark McGowan said of the climb:
“The Eiger Para-climb was a committing project resonating a message well beyond that great moment of seeing all my friends safely reach the summit of one of the most iconic and dangerous mountains in the Swiss Alps. It is a great pleasure to continue with that message through the lecture series to reflect the courage and commitment that was demonstrated by all in the team.”
Tickets are available to buy in person or on the phone at the Robert Burns Centre box office (T: 01387 264808), from the Dumfries Midsteeple box office (01387 253383) or via the www.ticketweb.co.uk