The Altai

Exploration in Southern Siberia, 9th-28th August 2012

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Blog & Updates

Pitching for Berghaus

23rd May 2012, by George

This weekend, myself and Clay Conlon travelled up to the Keswick Mountain Festival to compete in the live final of the Berghaus Live for Adventure contest. We are absolutely delighted to say that we won against some very good competition, and we are really excited to have the support of Berghaus for the Altai 2012 expedition.

There were three other finalists. First up was Ben Hudson, who is leading Oxford University Caving Club to the Picos de Europa in Northern Spain. They plan to travel over a kilometre down below the surface, traverse across a bit, and then pop up somewhere else. It sounded pretty dark, cold and cramped, but also very impressive.

Finalist number two was Jason King who was conducting his own “European Three Peaks Challenge”. His plan is to summit three peaks in three different styles in three different locations (in 9 days). The routes are Via Vertigine on Monte Brento, the Cassin route up the NE face of Piz Badile and a traverse of the Matterhorn up the Lion ridge then down the Hornli ridge. He also quoted from Games Climbers Play, which we appreciated.

Next up were Matt Burdekin & Polly Hamer. This was by far the closest expedition to ours in terms of style and objectives. They are heading to Kygryzstan to attempt the first ascent of the North face of Muz Tok, followed by another first ascent of an un-named 5000m peak. They seem pretty competent and keen, and you can follow what they get up to on their Facebook page. Best of luck to them. Polly is also this year’s winner of the Julie Tulis award.

Then it was us. I’d had an awful train and bus journey up from London after a friend’s party the night before, (not ideal preparation) but I was pretty excited and raring to go by the time the moment came. The five minutes was gone in a flash, a few mis-pronounced Russian names got the odd laugh, and I tried to emphasise the adventurous aspect of our trip as much as I could. We were pretty bloody excited when Mick announced us as the winners, and there is a huge cheque now sitting propped up in my bedroom as a reminder of what a great weekend we had.