Tien Shan 2014 (Khan Tengri)
The Kazakh expedition is the intended replacement for the previously proposed Afghanistan Expedition, which was due to take place in 2012.
The Afghanistan expedition has unfortunately been cancelled due to the continually deteriorating security situation in the country.
The Tien Shan are a distant extension of the Himalaya, via the Hindu Kush and the Pamirs. The range is found along the west border of China, crossing into Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
The climbing in this area is so varied and vast that there would be enough to occupy us for a number of years, but unfortunately, the expedition doesn’t have that much time.
The nature of the area, and the increased acceptance of westerners, in addition to the availability of emergeny transport means that the whole expedition can take a more relaxed and informal approach, although safety and team work must still be employed, as the mountains stretch up above 7000m, and are known to be a lot colder than mountain areas such as the high himalaya.
The expedition is not so focused on first ascents as had previously been the intention, but will now focus on the peak of Khan Tengri, and it’s surrounding mountains. There may be an oportunity to strike out and attempt some more distant, possibly unclimbed mountains, as there are many in the Tien Shan, but the expedition shall be based at the Inylchek Glacier, in the shadow of the North Face of Khan Tengri
It should be noted that climbing in this part of the world is far from simple. Kahn Tengri itself is notable as the most northerly 7000+ metre peak, which is of significance not just because of the shorter climbing season, but also it is liable to suffer more severe weather and has thinner air than would be found on more southerly peaks.
We are entertaining two potential transportation options. The first is the obvious, we travel by plane to the nearest international Airport (Almaty) and from there will take overland transport to the lower base camp. After a few days acclimatisation, we’ll fly by chartered helicopter to the Inylchek Base Camp, and after further acclimatisation, the climbing can begin. The second option being explored is looking at engaging with a Land Rover Owners Club to support the expedition, with the gear and most of the team travelling overland, through Eastern Europe, Russia and Kazakhstan, which in itself will add a special feeling to the expedition, making it that little bit more of an adventure. Those members who struggle for time will probably still fly in and out, cutting at least a week off the expedition time. The benifit of driving across is that there would be no excess luggage costs, which we would suffer heavily on the airlines.
As base camp is going to be at the main Khan Tengri camp site, there are a few additional creature comforts which we may be able to enjoy, including toilets, showers, a sauna, cook tents, a cook, mess tents, electricity…
We will either be taking our own tents, and setting up our own camp near to the main base camp, or we might use rented tents which will be supplied, pre-erected, and also the mess and cook tents which would be supplied too. The decision of how to set up Base Camp (hire or own) is going to be influenced by the money we can raise, as it will be cheaper to hire. If we could raise enough to buy our own base camp equipment, then the benefits would be that we have long-term prospects with the club gear.
The costs, currently, are very much an estimate, but based on quite tangible figures. We’re estimating that, for a fully serviced base camp, all flights, all food, and even accomodation in Almaty when we fly in (B&B) we would be looking at a cost of £2250 per person. The inclusions are outlined below:
Return Heathrow – Kazakhstan Flights, Meeting and seeing off in Almaty International Airport *Registration in OVIR (local police office) *All transfers * Interpreter’s service * Hotel in Almaty, B/B, 1 night * All staffs insurance *Royalty * Entrance fee for the border region * Ecological duties * Reconfirmation of tickets*Return charter helicopter flight to BC (no limitation for luggage weight)*Accommodation in “family tents”on “Full board” basis in Karkara BC - 3 days * Accommodation in “family tents” with mattresses and wooden platforms in North Inylchek BC on “Full board” basis - 8 days *Lunch-box on the way to Karkara BC and back to Almaty * Mess-tent with tables and chairs in BC on glacier * Kitchen-tent * Cooking accessories in BC * Cook *Sauna or shower in Karkara BC – 1 time * Sauna or shower in North Inylchek BC - 3 times * Toilet in BC * Evacuation of debris from BC * Medical aid in the BC (including complete set of oxygen equipment – mask, reducer, cylinder) * Consultations by an experienced guide * Radio communication between Karkara BC, Glacier BC, helicopter and Almaty office * Fixed ropes on the ascent route from North * pre-dug Snow caves at Camp 2 * *Walky-Talky * Electric generator (220V) in BC for mess-tents lighting and charging batteries. Food for whole expedition.
7000m is a very high mountain, and the technical difficulties on the way to the summit are far from simple, and as such a significant amount of experience is going to be needed in all team members. In order to help the team members attain these technical skills, NEWMC shall organise a series of training events and expeditions, for members to enhance their experience, and to work together as a team, as well as having a chance to feel the effects of altitude on the body at just 4000m, something which will be vastly multiplied in the cold thin air of Khan Tengri.
Some proposed training exercises are:
CIC Hut 22nd – 26th Jan 2012
Regular weekend Hikes across Snowdonia and Scottish Ranges
Winter 2012/Spring 2013
CIC Hut 20th-24th Jan 2013
Slovenia (Julian Alps) 9th-14th Feb 2013
Cullin Ridge (Skye) 1st-3rd March 2013
Andorra/Sierra Nevada (TBC) 23rd March-1st April
Regular weekend Hikes across Snowdonia and Scottish Ranges
The French Alps (4000m+) 17th – 31st August 2013
Winter 2013/Spring 2014
Jbel Toubkal (Morocco) 22nd Feb – 2nd March 2014
Eiger, Swizerland 17th-23rd April 2014
Snowdonia (Location TBC) 3rd-5th May 2014
Scotland (Location TBC) 24th-26th May 2014
Rescue Training, Snowdonia – 28th & 29th June
Final Group Preperations – 5th & 6th July
Packing, Checking etc – 12th & 13th July
Expedition Departs 18th July
Expedition Returns 18th August
These club training exercises are intended to enhance your skills, but should be in addition to your personal training regieme, as extreme physical fitness and high levels of mountaineering competency are going to be required.
If you’re interested in the expedition, or want further information, contact the meets officer by email: firstname.lastname@example.org