"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.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

What happened next...

It didn’t take long until the initial excitement of our objective wore off. It quickly became apparent that an expedition to the Karakorum was a pretty big task and that there was a lot more thought and organisation involved, than a summer in Chamonix requires. It was also going to cost a hell of a lot more.

Luke contacted Kyle Dempster, who kindly sent a very comprehensive reply. We then proceeded to contact anyone we knew, and quite a few people we didn’t, who had been to Pakistan or climbed in the greater ranges. As a team we then drew up a rough budget and itinerary and emailed it to yet more people.

Luckily for us British Mountaineering is well supported by an excellent grant system that favors young climbers, attempting technical new routes, in alpine style, in the greater ranges. After what seemed like an eternity of paper pushing and a mountain of forms, all six grant applications were completed and sent off. Incredibly we received money from all six - check out their websites linked to in the sidebar. A huge thank you goes out to the charities and organisations that have supported us, without their support we would be unable to go to Pakistan this summer.

Pete Graham sorting gear before an unsuccessful ascent of the Eiger North Face. Photo: Tom Ripley.

The other thing we were going to need is kit and lots of it. I began trying to get my head around what we needed and constructing vast lists. Fortunately we already most of the technical gear, but there was a fair amount of that we didn’t. Hamish and I set to blagging, sending out dozens of emails to companies. We were amazed with the response and generosity of companies we approached - some have given us kit, some have lent us stuff, whilst others have kindly let us buy stuff at exceptional discount. A big up to all of them, you’ve really helped us out, please check out their websites in the sidebar.

My experience of organising expeditions so far has been very positive one. It’s very time consuming, but as with everything, you get what put into it.

By Tom Ripley

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