Where are they going? MEF supported trips in 2014

Posted by Lindsay Griffin on 28/04/2014
Byeliy (left) and unclimbed Byeliy East in the Western Kokshaal-too. Paul Knott

The Mount Everest Foundation is again awarding substantial financial support to British and New Zealand expeditions of an exploratory nature. The 2014 list features a number of highly adventurous projects, notably in Asia and Antarctica.

Mountaineering expeditions are grouped by country, with the team organizer noted in parenthesis after the objective. Several scientific expeditions, also supported by the MEF, are not listed.

Kyrgyzstan
Muz-tok (5,066m, Edward Lemon). This team, with good experience in Central Asia, plans to visit the Jiptik, several valleys to the east of the well-known granite walls of the Karavshin. Their objectives are alpine snow/ice peaks with a long glacier approach: a second possibility being the unclimbed Peak 5,000m on the border with Tajikistan. Little has been done here (by Soviets), although the valley has been visited twice by New Zealanders.

Little Poobah (Byeliy East, 5,481m, Adrian Dye). First ascent of this unattempted peak at the head of the Fersmana Glacier in the Western Kokshaal-too.

Peak 5,611m (Emily Ward). Ward took part in an all female expedition to the Kokshaal-too in 2013 and returns with a primarily female expedition to attempt unclimbed peaks from the Nalivkin Glacier (immediately west of Fersmana). Notable is the 5,400+m peak north of Byeliy (wrongly marked on maps as 5,611m).

Djangart Region (Jamie Goodhart). A relatively large team of climbers, two of which are medics, hopes to continue the exploration of the Djangart Range of the Tien Shan, building on work carried out in the last few years by several highly successful British expeditions. There will also be observational research on AMS.

Tajikistan
Rushan Range (Suzanna Walker). A team of British climbers and skiers, primarily based in the Chamonix Valley, are hoping to make ascents and interesting ski descents above Zarojkul (lake) in an area relatively close to Khorog.

Peak 6,050m (Rebecca Coles). Coles returns to the Muzkol Range, where she first attempted this unnamed peak, possibly the highest remaining unclimbed summit in the range, in 2011.

India
Rimo II (7,233m, Malcolm Bass). Bass returns to the restricted Siachen region of the Indian East Karakoram for another crack at the unclimbed southwest face of Rimo III, a coveted line on a peak only climbed once previously - by Jim Fotheringham and Dave Wilkinson in 1985.

Hagshu (6,515m, Mick Fowler). Straddling the Kishtwar-Zanskar divide, Hagshu is best known for repeated attempts to climb the icy north face in the late 1980s-early 1990s by John Barry and various partners. Fowler and Paul Ramsden will attempt to complete this project, and then traverse the mountain, descending by the original 1989 Polish route. However, there is some competition.........

Hagshu (6,515m, Rufus Duits). Duits also has designs on the north face (as possibly do an American team). All teams will be approaching from Zanskar.

Kamen Gyalmo (6,470m, Derek Buckle). Buckle and friends hope to gain a permit to explore unclimbed peaks northeast of the main Spiti Valley. As this is a formerly closed area close to the Tibet border and permission is uncertain, access could prove the greatest challenge. In common with all expeditions visiting India, this team will benefit from a 50% peak fee reduction.

Pakistan
Shakawr (7,166m, Pat Deavoll). New Zealand Deavoll and her climbing partner hope to reach the head of the Roshgol Glacier, in the Hindu Kush, from Chitral, and then attempt either the unclimbed southeast face of Shakawr or the south face of Languta Barfi (6,827m), or both. These are large snow and ice walls, and this basin is not known to have been visited by climbers for decades.

Muchu Chhish (7,453m, Peter Thompson). Thompson and a capable team hope to make the first ascent of Muchu Chhish, an inaccessible summit on the ridge between Passu Sar and the Batura peaks, that according to some authorities is the highest unclimbed peak in the world (depending on prominence) for which it is possible to obtain a permit.

Link Sar (7,041m, Jon Griffith). Griffith travels for the third time to the Charakusa, on this occasion with American Colin Haley, with the prime aim of making the first ascent of Link Sar. Their chosen route, technical and committing, will most likely involve crossing the unclimbed northwest summit.

Nepal
Lumba Samba (5,672m, Paul Vardy). The first ascent of this little known mountain south of a recently established trekking route in the eastern part of the country.

Anidesh Chuli (6,808m, Paul Hersey). In 2013 a New Zealand team made the first known attempt on this peak west of Kangchenjunga but retreated after a fall. A different team of New Zealanders is currently in Nepal, hoping to make amends.

Jannu East (7,468m, Matt Helliker). After around seven previous attempts, mainly by Slovenians, Helliker and Jon Bracey hope to make  the first ascent of this technically difficult unclimbed eastern summit of Jannu. They are also the recipients of this year's Nick Estcourt Award.

China
Xuelian East (6,400m, Sam Thompson). In an area of the Tien Shan brought to light by visits from Bruce Normand and Mick Fowler, the north spur of Xuelian East is an elegant objective to a summit with only one previous ascent. Another project for this team is the north face of Khanjaylak I (5,424m).

Durban Kangri (6,824m, Bruce Normand). Normand will be trying for the third time to access this unclimbed knot of Shaksgam peaks, close to K2 in the Xinjiang Karakoram. Previously applications for permits have been turned down as a result of political problems in the province at the time. Durban Kangri I has an impressive mixed north face.

Zangchung Kangri (6,790m, John Town). The area around this high, isolated unclimbed peak in Nagan Province, west Tibet, has never been visited by mountaineers. Sorting out access, and the correct permits, could prove to be the crux.

Antarctica
Spectre (Leo Houlding). Houlding, with a very small team, has the adventurous plan of flying to the South Pole, then kite skiing 500km to the granite peaks of the Organ Pipes (arguably the most remote technical peaks on earth) making the first ascent of Spectre's south ridge, and other peaks, then kite skiing 1,000km to a pick-up at the ALE base on the Union Glacier. At least as big a challenge is sponsorship.

Argentina
Fitz Roy (Peter Graham). Like so many others in Patagonia early this year, this team suffered all the trials and tribulations of almost continuously bad weather.

Alaska
Titanic (9,300', Graham Zimmerman). New Zealand Zimmerman, one of the nominees in this year's Piolets d'Or, joins two experienced Americans to attempt a number of major projects in the climatically challenged Revelations Range of western Alaska. The northwest face of Titanic has been dubbed the Grandes Jorasses of the Revelations.

Crillon (3,879m, Paul Knott). Knott is currently in the coastal Fairweather Range, hoping to attempt the long, unclimbed and challenging east ridge of Crillon, a peak that has only seen two ascents since the first in 1934 by Bradford Washburn.

Canada
Unclimbed peaks in St Elias Range (Glenn Wilks). In 2011 Wilks tried to access a group of unexplored sub-3,500m peaks in the Yukon, close to the confluence of the Walsh and Denis Glaciers. Flying from Kluane, bad weather twice prevented a landing, but the team is hoping for better conditions this time.

Greenland
The Fox Jaw Cirque (Cathy Alldred). Alldred and friends hope to add a few more rock routes to the superb granite walls on the south side of a line of frequented towers just beyond the head of the Tasiilaq Fjord.

For more information on the MEF, its criteria for awards, and how to apply, visit the MEF website



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