Departed 20th July 2013
Leader and Updates: Francis Blunt
14th August: Francis called from Madadir, having flown out by helicopter today from Base Camp a couple of days early. There has been a lot of snow over the past few days (and all season in fact) and there have only been 2 successful summit bids for Khan Tengri so far this year. Most of our team have reached camp 3, and are very pleased with their progress considering the conditions. They all returned to Base camp last night and took today’s flight rather than risk delays later on.
Back to Karakol tomorrow and then they hope to enjoy the delights of one of the resorts on the shores of Issy Kul lake on their way back to Bishkek.
12th August: We’ve received word via our agent that the team are currently in base camp sitting out some very bad weather. Heavy snows have thwarted any summit attempts and we believe this is also limiting communications via the sat phone.
8th August: Francis called today to give a quick update and check on the weather forecast once more. Everyone is ok and doing well. He, Kian, John and Steve went up to Camp 2 on a successful acclimatisation day; they are hoping for a cold crisp morning tomorrow to head up to Camp 3. Hazel and George are at Base Camp and are fine after their attempt to go up to Camp 2 before turning back to rest and try again later. It has been a nice day weather-wise again, with blue skies, despite the snow that had been forecast.
5th August: Francis called today to give a quick update and check on the weather forecast once more. Most of the team are now at Camp 1 on Khan Tengri, with a couple of the group going on ahead to Camp 2. They will decide when up there whether to spend the night or descend back to Camp 1. It has been a nice day weather-wise today, with blue skies, despite the snow that had been forecast. The group are hoping for another cold crisp morning tomorrow for when those at Camp 1 aim to head up to Camp 2.
4th August: Francis called in from Khan Tengri Base camp for a weather forecast for the next few days. Significant snow is predicted for Sunday evening, then it looks fairly clear until Thursday when more snow is forecast. Hopefully the team will start heading up the mountain either later today or on Monday.
29th July: Francis called in today the team have been making great progress. Kian, Steve, Simon & Ben climbed the West face of Peak 4285m on Friday from their ABC. Other members had a go at Peak 4634m but retreated from near the top due to poor snow conditions.
John Hazel and Francis climbed Peak 4580m via SE Face. On Saturday the team climbed the West ridge of Peak 4291m, which had a few pitches Hard Severe. Sunday Kian & Steve climbed a 4642m peak via it’s North Face and then cut off onto the East ridge to it’s summit. Today the rest of the team climbed a 4422m peak via it’s NW Ridge and descended it’s NE Ridge. So a busy few days all in all while the weather has been kind.
25th July: Today we summited a 4285m peak and plan to do another peak tomorrow of roughly 4860 meters. We’ve had a few headaches in the group today but everyone is feeling good now despite being a little tired. We were resupplied with food, treats and a few luxuries from Base Camp. After tomorrow we will go back down to the bottom camp for a rest.
24th July: We are now at Advanced Base Camp at around 3900m and the group are in fine shape. We completed a skill session on the glacier today and targeting some easier 4500m peaks tomorrow. We have had lots of snow today but this shouldn’t hinder our efforts tomorrow.
23rd July pm: Francis has called to report everyone is fine and at our Base Camp now. The Base Camp is very good with amazing food and plenty of snow.
23rd July am:All fine here, Peter joined us this morning okay. Everyone looking forward to getting to the hills we saw today from the road, and we got a better map from the agent so this is helping ideas… Took these photos today when Patrick our camp manager and liaison stopped the truck to take a view directly south to the area we’re heading to.
20th July: Group have arrived safely on their various flights complete with all baggage which is always a relief! It’s now time for shopping; lots of chocolate, cereal bars, nuts, cheese and salami for the hill and more useful things like toilet rolls and matches etc! Tomorrow the group leaves the city of Bishkek to travel along Lake Isykal to the remote (and last town) of Karakol.
19th July: The Team are departing for the Kyrgyz Republic today and will arrive in Bishkek tomorrow. There they will buy the majority of their snacks etc before heading to Karakol where they will make their final preparations.