Mountaineering expeditions come in different shapes and sizes, but here are a few ideas based on how I organised our forthcoming Muchu Chhish expedition.

The first thing you need to do is to choose your objective. I touched on this in my previous article Unclimbed Peaks in the Karakoram. If you are hoping to get grants for your expedition, an exploratory element is a good idea. This can be an unclimbed peak, climbing a new route on a previously climbed peak or exploring a new area.

As I pointed out, there are numerous unclimbed peaks in areas such as the Karakoram. There are also countless brilliant new routes still to be climbed. Finding an unexplored (in climbing terms) area is less easy, but they do exist.

[caption id="attachment_6291" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Climbing alpine style at altitude on Batura close to Muchu Chhish Climbing alpine style at altitude on Batura close to Muchu Chhish[/caption]

Next, you need to find your partners. Although there are plenty of people keen to go on these trips, it can be hard to find climbers with both the time and money.

My partners on this trip are Tim Oates and Phil De-Beger. The good news is that their combined ages are the same as mine! The most important thing with partners is that they are willing to do the climb and share the same belief in the objective. Phil and Tim are both willing and capable, so we’re all set.

So how do you pay for the trip? We are lucky in the UK in that there are a number of grants available. These come from the Mount Everest Foundation, the British Mountaineering Council, the Alpine Club, the Rothschild Foundation (attached to the MEF grant) and the Shipton-Tilman award (from America). Luckily for us, we have got all these grants which should just about cover the whole cost of the trip.

Do apply for these grants because they are readily available. As long as you have a suitable objective not all the climbers have to have loads of experience. They are keen to encourage young climbers.

Luckily all the applications are pretty much the same, which saves time. What they ask for in return is a report and sometimes some photos.

Financially, the Karakoram mountains of Pakistan are a good choice for an expedition. No permit is required for peaks below 6500m. Above 6500m peak fees are only 10% of previous levels for mountains in less visited areas like Hunza where we are going. The peak fee for Muchu Chhish is $250 and a liaison officer is not required. An unclimbed 7000m peak in China would cost a fortune.

[caption id="attachment_6292" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Our approach takes us to the stunning Hunza valley. The mountain is Rakaposhi. Our approach takes us to the stunning Hunza valley. The mountain is Rakaposhi.[/caption]

Give yourselves plenty of time when applying for permits. I think you can apply for permits yourself, but almost invariably people go through an agent such as Adventure Tours Pakistan. They will get your permit and help with all aspects of the expedition. For permit free trips, it is quite possible to do it all yourself.

But is it actually safe to go to Pakistan at the moment? There are problems in Pakistan highlighted by the massacre of climbers at Nanga Parbat base camp in 2013. This is a big subject but suffice to say that Hunza, where we are going, is perfectly safe and friendly, and the government provides security on the Karakoram Highway along which we will travel.

The next thing to think about is equipment. The chances of success on a mountain climbing alpine style at altitude are increased by having the best kit. I decided to only approach one company for sponsorship as they make just the kind of stuff we need. That company is Rab. Gabriel and Anna in marketing were enthusiastic about our project and agreed to support us with equipment.

[caption id="attachment_6293" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Thanks to Rab for supporting our expedition. Hats modelled by my daughters Emma and Eliza. Thanks to Rab for supporting our expedition. Hats modelled by my daughters Emma and Eliza.[/caption]

As warmth for weight is everything, I decided to use their down Expedition Suit. Why complicate things with several garments when one can do the lot. It will also be more comfortable to wear a harness over the suit rather than several overlapping layers.

Although more usually seen on Everest and other 8000m peaks, our attempt on Muchu Chhish is late in the season and it will be cold. The Pertex Windsuit adds protection if necessary.

Rab is well known for its sleeping bags and I have used them for years. Keeping our bags dry is very important so their new hydrophobic down should be advantageous.

Single skin mountain tents are usually two-man, so I was pleased to see that Rab do a three-man tent, the MK3. This as light a tent as we could hope for and it will be interesting to see how their eVent fabric compares with other versions of this kind of tent.

I am also keen to try out Rab’s Vapour-rise jackets and trousers. These versatile soft shell garments are both highly breathable and water repellent.

Rab’s MeCo base layers use merino wool which is very comfortable. The Expedition Suit is so warm I won’t need much more than the base layers and a light micro fleece.

So a big thank you to Rab for supporting our expedition. Unfortunately I can’t write a blog during the trip, but we will send updates to Rab and I’ll let you know what happened when we get back.

Pete ThompsonMountaineering expeditions come in different shapes and sizes, but here are a few ideas based on how I organised our forthcoming Muchu Chhish expedition.

The first thing you need to do is to choose your objective. I touched on this in my previous article Unclimbed Peaks in the Karakoram. If you are hoping to get grants for your expedition, an exploratory element is a good idea. This can be an unclimbed peak, climbing a new route on a previously climbed peak or exploring a new area.

As I pointed out, there are numerous unclimbed peaks in areas such as the Karakoram. There are also countless brilliant new routes still to be climbed. Finding an unexplored (in climbing terms) area is less easy, but they do exist.

[caption id="attachment_6291" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Climbing alpine style at altitude on Batura close to Muchu Chhish Climbing alpine style at altitude on Batura close to Muchu Chhish[/caption]

Next, you need to find your partners. Although there are plenty of people keen to go on these trips, it can be hard to find climbers with both the time and money.

My partners on this trip are Tim Oates and Phil De-Beger. The good news is that their combined ages are the same as mine! The most important thing with partners is that they are willing to do the climb and share the same belief in the objective. Phil and Tim are both willing and capable, so we’re all set.

So how do you pay for the trip? We are lucky in the UK in that there are a number of grants available. These come from the Mount Everest Foundation, the British Mountaineering Council, the Alpine Club, the Rothschild Foundation (attached to the MEF grant) and the Shipton-Tilman award (from America). Luckily for us, we have got all these grants which should just about cover the whole cost of the trip.

Do apply for these grants because they are readily available. As long as you have a suitable objective not all the climbers have to have loads of experience. They are keen to encourage young climbers.

Luckily all the applications are pretty much the same, which saves time. What they ask for in return is a report and sometimes some photos.

Financially, the Karakoram mountains of Pakistan are a good choice for an expedition. No permit is required for peaks below 6500m. Above 6500m peak fees are only 10% of previous levels for mountains in less visited areas like Hunza where we are going. The peak fee for Muchu Chhish is $250 and a liaison officer is not required. An unclimbed 7000m peak in China would cost a fortune.

[caption id="attachment_6292" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Our approach takes us to the stunning Hunza valley. The mountain is Rakaposhi. Our approach takes us to the stunning Hunza valley. The mountain is Rakaposhi.[/caption]

Give yourselves plenty of time when applying for permits. I think you can apply for permits yourself, but almost invariably people go through an agent such as Adventure Tours Pakistan. They will get your permit and help with all aspects of the expedition. For permit free trips, it is quite possible to do it all yourself.

But is it actually safe to go to Pakistan at the moment? There are problems in Pakistan highlighted by the massacre of climbers at Nanga Parbat base camp in 2013. This is a big subject but suffice to say that Hunza, where we are going, is perfectly safe and friendly, and the government provides security on the Karakoram Highway along which we will travel.

The next thing to think about is equipment. The chances of success on a mountain climbing alpine style at altitude are increased by having the best kit. I decided to only approach one company for sponsorship as they make just the kind of stuff we need. That company is Rab. Gabriel and Anna in marketing were enthusiastic about our project and agreed to support us with equipment.

[caption id="attachment_6293" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Thanks to Rab for supporting our expedition. Hats modelled by my daughters Emma and Eliza. Thanks to Rab for supporting our expedition. Hats modelled by my daughters Emma and Eliza.[/caption]

As warmth for weight is everything, I decided to use their down Expedition Suit. Why complicate things with several garments when one can do the lot. It will also be more comfortable to wear a harness over the suit rather than several overlapping layers.

Although more usually seen on Everest and other 8000m peaks, our attempt on Muchu Chhish is late in the season and it will be cold. The Pertex Windsuit adds protection if necessary.

Rab is well known for its sleeping bags and I have used them for years. Keeping our bags dry is very important so their new hydrophobic down should be advantageous.

Single skin mountain tents are usually two-man, so I was pleased to see that Rab do a three-man tent, the MK3. This as light a tent as we could hope for and it will be interesting to see how their eVent fabric compares with other versions of this kind of tent.

I am also keen to try out Rab’s Vapour-rise jackets and trousers. These versatile soft shell garments are both highly breathable and water repellent.

Rab’s MeCo base layers use merino wool which is very comfortable. The Expedition Suit is so warm I won’t need much more than the base layers and a light micro fleece.

So a big thank you to Rab for supporting our expedition. Unfortunately I can’t write a blog during the trip, but we will send updates to Rab and I’ll let you know what happened when we get back.

Pete ThompsonMountaineering expeditions come in different shapes and sizes, but here are a few ideas based on how I organised our forthcoming Muchu Chhish expedition.

The first thing you need to do is to choose your objective. I touched on this in my previous article Unclimbed Peaks in the Karakoram. If you are hoping to get grants for your expedition, an exploratory element is a good idea. This can be an unclimbed peak, climbing a new route on a previously climbed peak or exploring a new area.

As I pointed out, there are numerous unclimbed peaks in areas such as the Karakoram. There are also countless brilliant new routes still to be climbed. Finding an unexplored (in climbing terms) area is less easy, but they do exist.

[caption id="attachment_6291" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Climbing alpine style at altitude on Batura close to Muchu Chhish Climbing alpine style at altitude on Batura close to Muchu Chhish[/caption]

Next, you need to find your partners. Although there are plenty of people keen to go on these trips, it can be hard to find climbers with both the time and money.

My partners on this trip are Tim Oates and Phil De-Beger. The good news is that their combined ages are the same as mine! The most important thing with partners is that they are willing to do the climb and share the same belief in the objective. Phil and Tim are both willing and capable, so we’re all set.

So how do you pay for the trip? We are lucky in the UK in that there are a number of grants available. These come from the Mount Everest Foundation, the British Mountaineering Council, the Alpine Club, the Rothschild Foundation (attached to the MEF grant) and the Shipton-Tilman award (from America). Luckily for us, we have got all these grants which should just about cover the whole cost of the trip.

Do apply for these grants because they are readily available. As long as you have a suitable objective not all the climbers have to have loads of experience. They are keen to encourage young climbers.

Luckily all the applications are pretty much the same, which saves time. What they ask for in return is a report and sometimes some photos.

Financially, the Karakoram mountains of Pakistan are a good choice for an expedition. No permit is required for peaks below 6500m. Above 6500m peak fees are only 10% of previous levels for mountains in less visited areas like Hunza where we are going. The peak fee for Muchu Chhish is $250 and a liaison officer is not required. An unclimbed 7000m peak in China would cost a fortune.

[caption id="attachment_6292" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Our approach takes us to the stunning Hunza valley. The mountain is Rakaposhi. Our approach takes us to the stunning Hunza valley. The mountain is Rakaposhi.[/caption]

Give yourselves plenty of time when applying for permits. I think you can apply for permits yourself, but almost invariably people go through an agent such as Adventure Tours Pakistan. They will get your permit and help with all aspects of the expedition. For permit free trips, it is quite possible to do it all yourself.

But is it actually safe to go to Pakistan at the moment? There are problems in Pakistan highlighted by the massacre of climbers at Nanga Parbat base camp in 2013. This is a big subject but suffice to say that Hunza, where we are going, is perfectly safe and friendly, and the government provides security on the Karakoram Highway along which we will travel.

The next thing to think about is equipment. The chances of success on a mountain climbing alpine style at altitude are increased by having the best kit. I decided to only approach one company for sponsorship as they make just the kind of stuff we need. That company is Rab. Gabriel and Anna in marketing were enthusiastic about our project and agreed to support us with equipment.

[caption id="attachment_6293" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Thanks to Rab for supporting our expedition. Hats modelled by my daughters Emma and Eliza. Thanks to Rab for supporting our expedition. Hats modelled by my daughters Emma and Eliza.[/caption]

As warmth for weight is everything, I decided to use their down Expedition Suit. Why complicate things with several garments when one can do the lot. It will also be more comfortable to wear a harness over the suit rather than several overlapping layers.

Although more usually seen on Everest and other 8000m peaks, our attempt on Muchu Chhish is late in the season and it will be cold. The Pertex Windsuit adds protection if necessary.

Rab is well known for its sleeping bags and I have used them for years. Keeping our bags dry is very important so their new hydrophobic down should be advantageous.

Single skin mountain tents are usually two-man, so I was pleased to see that Rab do a three-man tent, the MK3. This as light a tent as we could hope for and it will be interesting to see how their eVent fabric compares with other versions of this kind of tent.

I am also keen to try out Rab’s Vapour-rise jackets and trousers. These versatile soft shell garments are both highly breathable and water repellent.

Rab’s MeCo base layers use merino wool which is very comfortable. The Expedition Suit is so warm I won’t need much more than the base layers and a light micro fleece.

So a big thank you to Rab for supporting our expedition. Unfortunately I can’t write a blog during the trip, but we will send updates to Rab and I’ll let you know what happened when we get back.

Pete Thompson