"An alpine style ascent of Tahu Ratum (6651m) is a particularly noteworthy and challenging objective, which will help raise the profile of British mountaineering." - Sir Chris Bonington - Expedition Patron.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The Fourth Woman

Seven weeks is a long time to spend in the company of only two other people, no matter how good friends they are. The idea of spending over a month on a remote glacier in North Pakistan with no other company did seem a tad too committing for my liking. I’d also noticed that Tom Briggs, Graham Desroy and Mandi Shipton had accompanied Nick Bullock and Andy Houseman to base camp before their ascent of Chang Himal last year. It seems I wasn’t the only who liked the idea of extra company.

Holly - Looking happy!

After discussing the idea with Luke and Hamish – who were not opposed to the idea, but did not seem overly convinced either – I set about trying to find some more folk to come along. I generally got one of three answers: “I’d love to, but I can’t afford it.” “Na, I’ve got better things to do with my time than wait around in Pakistan, whilst you go climbing.” or the rather worrying, “Yea, I’d be well keen to try and climb that with you.”

After several weeks, I felt like I’d asked pretty much everyone I knew, the situation was looking pretty hopeless. No one was interested in coming on holiday with me. I’m student at Bangor University – though I’m not very good at studying – and an active member of Bangor University Mountaineering Society, or B.U.M.S for short. B.U.M.S is a drinking club and some of its’ members have a loose interest in climbing. During the winter it rains incessantly in North Wales so there is little opportunity for anything other than drinking and getting rowdy, which is far more exciting than climbing anyway. It was another wet Friday night and there was a load of us had headed down to Tremadog for a bit of knees up. There was a slim chance that some dry rock might be found too.

Eventually I got chatting to a girl with messy brown hair, who I sort of knew, but couldn’t for the life of me remember her name. “Do you want to come to Pakistan with me this summer?” I blurted out hopefully. Expecting a polite, “No” and look that said, “With you, I’d rather die.” Instead I got a rather excited, maybe over excited, “Wow! I’ve always wanted to go to Pakistan. Can I come please?” Rather taken aback I quickly said yes and out team was complete. It turns out, she’s called Holly.

By Tom Ripley

1 comment:

  1. OI ripley....alot of the members of BUMS have more than a 'loose interest in climbing' plus in a minute you need to go and put our washing in the dryer....that is all. DC