On 22 July 2010, UKC Users Tom Ripley, Luke Hunt and Hamish Dunn will fly from Manchester to Islamabad, Pakistan to take part in their first Great Ranges expedition.
Their objective is unclimbed NW Ridge of Tahu Ratum (6651m) - an immaculate granite pyramid, which rises approximately 1500m from the Khana Basi glacier, in the Hispar Muztagh region of the Karakorum. The Mountain has only seen one previous ascent. In July 1977, a Japanese team made the mountain's first ascent via SW Ridge. More recently, American Kyle Dempster attempted to aid solo the West Face in August 2008, but retreated 200 metres beneath the summit due to lack of food.
Despite an age range of only 19-21, the three climbers have already notched up some great alpine classics such as the North Face of the Dru, Walker Spur, Central Pillar of Freney and Peuterey Integral. In April 2010 the three of them attempted the Heckmair Route on the Eiger North Face, but unfortunately were unsuccessful due to very poor conditions on the face.
Tahu Ratum will be attempted Alpine Style. Without the use of: Diamox, high altitude porters or fixed ropes. It will just be three climbers, carrying all their kit, food and fuel. After a period of acclimatisation the team will start at the bottom and attempt climb to the top. They plan to free climb the route wherever possible, but no doubt we'll end up using the odd aid or rest point.
The expedition also has a blog: www.tahuratum.blogspot.com. It will be updated two or three times a week during the build up to expedition and weekly during the expedition. Updates from base camp have been made possible by a satellite phone linked to a small computer, which will allow readers to keep up to date with the expedition in real time.
The expedition would like to thank the following organisations for their financial support: British Mountaineering Council, Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust, Mark Clifford Award, Mount Everest Foundation, Nick Estcourt Award and Shipton-Tilman Award.