Intrepid climbers face steep challenge for world first
Press release issued: 24 July 2013
Reaching 5,318 metres tall, the remote and unknown mountains in Kyrgyzstan would be a daunting prospect to many climbers. But six intrepid mountaineers are confident that they can conquer the steep challenge and, in doing so, achieve a world first. The team, which is made up of past and present University of Bristol students, is leaving for the Djangart mountain range – on the border between Kyrgyzstan and China - on Wednesday.
The team, which is made up of past and present University of Bristol students, is leaving for the Djangart mountain range – on the border between Kyrgyzstan and China - on Wednesday [31 July] for three weeks.
There are three mountains which are over 5,000 metres high. The highest summit is Pik 5,318m, which people have attempted to climb in the past but failed, either due to poor weather conditions or impassable route choices.
Current 4th year students Harry Kingston, Harry Bloxham and Alistair Docherty will join graduates Ross Davidson, Clay Conlon and George Cave.
They all met at Bristol University and had little previous experience of climbing until they joined the University of Bristol Expeditions Society (UBES) and the University of Bristol Mountaineering Club (UBMC).
Now, with many European alpine trips and remote exploratory mountaineering in the Russian Altai under their belts, this trip represents their first major attempt at new challenging alpine-style routes in an unexplored region of the world.
Getting to the mountains will be a mission in itself, with a flight from Gatwick to the capital Bishkek before travelling 12 hours overland to the border, from where they’ll catch a helicopter into the mountains and establish a basecamp.
George said: “There are a lot of unclimbed mountains in the former soviet states. We picked the Djangart mountains as they’re not high enough to require oxygen but are more of a challenge than the Alps or other well-known places.
“We’ll have around three weeks to explore and summit whatever we can find. The Soviet military maps are outdated and Google Earth imagery is notoriously inaccurate in the area so the final objectives can only be decided after arrival!
“We first started to plan the trip in October last year so we’re pretty excited that it’s about to start. Although it’s remote and unknown, we’re a good team and have a lot of experience between us. It’s certainly going to be an adventure and we’d love to return home having succeeded.”
The expedition has been generously supported by the British Mountaineering Council, Mount Everest Foundation and Alpine Club. The team are also extremely grateful for the loan and donation of equipment for the trip from Berghaus, Alpkit, Buff and Dick’s Climbing.
You can follow the team’s progress thanks to real-time updates from the mountains on their website (www.djangart2013.co.uk), Facebook (www.facebook.com/Djangart2013) or Twitter pages (www.twitter.com/djangart2013).