Jeremy Willson Mountaineering Exploration Grant for Peak 41 Expedition

Posted by Lindsay Griffin on 15/06/2012
North face of Peak 41. Supplied by Rob Greenwood

The 2012 Jeremy Willson grant for mountaineering exploration has been awarded to Jack Geldard and Rob Greenwood for their attempt on the unclimbed north face of Peak 41.

As in 2011, when the award was made to Rebecca Coles and James Kitson for their visit to Tajikistan's remote Muzkol Range, followed by an exploration of the little-visited Raig Jurm Valley in Afghanistan's Hindu Kush, this year the Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust has decided to make a single grant of £1,000.

The rather blandly named Peak 41 (6,648m) lies north of the popular Mera Peak in Nepal's Mahalangur Himal (Khumbu section) and the north face is accessed from the airstrip at Lukla via the Mera La and Hongu Valley.

Although not brought on to the list of permitted peaks until 2002, it was climbed in 1986 by Swiss, and later by Americans, before the first official ascent in 2002 by Slovenians Urban Golob, Matic Jost and Uros Samec.

It is believed the first two named ascents followed the same route later taken by the Slovenians; west face and northwest ridge.

The peak gained brief notoriety at the turn of the millennium when Swedish climbers cunningly realised that the coordinates for Mera Peak, quoted on the official list of trekking peaks, did not match the already popular summit but were those of Peak 41. This gave them the chance to make a legal attempt on a mountain not yet permitted.

They were unsuccessful and, not surprisingly, the authorities were quick to remedy the error.

North Wales-based Greenwood and Chamonix-based Geldard both have extensive experience on hard technical British rock, ice and mixed terrain, and on some of the great mixed faces in the Alps, but this will be their first trip to the Greater Ranges.

The pair will be trying the previous unvisited opposite side the mountain during  October/November, the north face rising from a small side valley flowing east into the upper Hongu. From the top of the steep mixed face, a seemingly difficult corniced ridge leads to the main summit.

The trip is not cheap but the pair have also received BMC and MEF grants, an award from the Chris Walker Memorial Trust, and a Mark Clifford Mountaineering Grant.

The Jeremy Willson Mountaineering Exploration Grant is available to those applying to the BMC and MEF for expedition support. Find out more about the Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust.

More reports on grants awarded to British expeditions in 2012 will appear shortly.
 



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