BMC supported expeditions in 2011

Posted by Lindsay Griffin on 03/06/2011
Jannu East and Jannu. Claus Ostergaard

The BMC was able to award a little over £10,000 to climbers involved in eight expeditions planning first ascents in the World's mountain ranges.

In addition, the BMC was able to offer its Approval to four more teams, and for the second year running make a Julie Tullis Memorial Award.

The climbing objectives lie in North and South America, Central Asia and the Himalaya, with a number truly world class. Several teams have already returned and reports of their adventures will soon appear on this site. More news will follow, as climbers come home with their stories.

For further details on how and when to apply for support, see BMC Grant Support for Expeditions

Receiving £1,150 were Chris Johnson, Neil Warren and Guy Wilson, who planned to try the unclimbed West Ridge of the rarely summited Mount Hayes in Alaska. Frequent heavy snowfalls meant that attempts on various objectives were quickly defeated by dangerous conditions. However, with time almost out, Warren and Wilson were able to make the first ascent of the North East Face of nearby Mt Geist (3,085m), and then descend the North Ridge, all in a 22-hour push.

Regular Alaska activists Jon Bracey and Matt Helliker received £950 for their attempt to add a hard, technical, ice and mixed line left of the Moonflower on the North Buttress of Hunter, Alaska. Despite difficult weather high on the face, they were able to complete their route, having climbed sections of M6, AI6, 5.8 and A2. They've named it The Cartwright Connection

Helliker has a second expedition this year. In the autumn he'll be travelling to Nepal's infamous Jannu (7,711m) with Nick Bullock, the goal either a new route on the North West Face, or the first ascent of the coveted Jannu East. The latter has repelled several strong teams in the past, from the BMC's current President to the late Tomaz Humar. Bullock and Helliker have been awarded £2,200 for this ambitious objective.

In May Bullock joined Andy Houseman for the latter's second attempt to climb the 1,800m South Pillar of Kyashar, a 6,770m Nepalese peak with only one known ascent. Constant snowfall and a surprising number of electrical storms prevented them ever setting foot on the route, though an attempt was made to repeat the West Ridge, where deep snow halted progress. The pair were awarded £1,700 for the attempt.

Heading for South America in June are Matthew Balmer, Daniel Fitzgerald and James Wake, who have been granted £950 to make the first ascent of the South Face of Huagaruncho Chico (c5,300m), a peak that appears to have received no known ascent since the first in 1956. Part of the Cordillera Oriental, the Huagaruncho massif is one of the least known and least visited regions of the Peruvian Andes.

Further south in Peru, young alpinists Hamish Dunn and Tom Ripley are hoping to climb new routes in the Cordillera Carabaya, another infrequently visited range. There is opportunity here for a mix of exploratory and technical climbing, and the pair have identified an unclimbed c5,400m summit - something of a rarity in Peru. They leave in August and have been awarded £1,700

£1,150 was initially awarded to David Chapman and Pete Rhodes, who were members of an Anglo-American expedition attempting a big wall route in the Charakusa Valley, Pakistan Karakoram. Unfortunately, this trip had to be cancelled - at least for this year.

The BMC awarded Approved status to Anne Arran and Sean James, who hope to climb new rock routes in Indonesia, particularly on Carstensz Pyramid (4,884m) and Puncak Trikora (4,730m); to Rebecca Coles and James Kitson, who hope to make the first ascent of the last remaining unclimbed 6,000m peak in Tajikistan's Muzkol Range, before moving south to the Afghan Wakhan Corridor and exploring the little visted Raig Jurm Valley, which has peaks up to 6,000m; to Alex Brighton and Richard Tremellen, who are continuing the exploration of the Djangart Range in Kyrghyzstan's Tien Shan, after Matt Traver's successful visit last year; to Mark Higton's East Karakoram expedition, in which Higton and two other Alpine Club members will join four Indian mountaineers to attempt the first ascent of Chemshen Kangri (7,019m) in the Saser Kangri Range; and to Mick Fowler's team that hopes to make the first ascent of Mugu Chuli (6,310m) in Far West Nepal by a fine ice/mixed line on the West Face.

Finally, the 2011 Julie Tullis Memorial Award (£350) was given to Rebecca Coles, whose two expeditions noted above are only part of a six-seven month climbing tour in Asia.

The photo shows the unclimbed Jannu East (left) and Jannu from the flanks of Mera Peak to the north.
 



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