An ambitious plan by a group of unemployed men from North East Lancashire to ascend the world's second highest mountain, K2, was reluctantly called off yesterday evening at Burnley bus station.
The 28 expedition members, along with 84 Sherpas, from as far afield as Nelson and Accrington had gathered in a local pub with equipment and supplies, initially feeling optimistic, and raring to have a crack at the killer mountain.
An initial press release revealed that the team would attempt to conquer the mountain by way of a trek to Concordia, then a route up the Baltoro Glacier to base camp, from where a summit attempt would be made, via the Abruzzi Spur route.
But within the hour of the expedition team assembling, it became obvious that there were certain logistical problems which would eventually prove insurmountable, and so, with great regret, the expedition was called off.
Expedition leader, Bill Sykes, a local man who resides in the Ightenhill area of Burnley, admitted that the organisers had underestimated certain elements of the project.
"It weren't 'til we met up that we realised that K2 is in the Karakoram mountain range. Which is in th'Himalayas. You could have knocked me down with a feather when I found it were on th' Sino-Pakistan border. We thought it were in Switzerland, or Austria. Where th'Alps is. We dint know it were that far."
Disappointed expeditionaries reluctantly parted company with their colleagues when they realised that their accumulated Giro money wouldn't get them much further than Calais.
"I suppose yer could say it's all been a bit of a cock-up," said expedition member Henry Cartwright as he waited dejectedly for the Worsthorne bus. "But not to worry. We'll just have ter think o' summat else."
More as we get it.