Somewhere along the border between Kyrgyzstan and China lies the Djangart valley. It is a range of mountains in the East of the country up to 5000m tall, stretching along the border zone for almost 40km. This time last year I’d never heard of the place, I expect you won’t have either. However, fast forward 12 months and myself and five other friends from the University of Bristol are about to depart on a 3 week expedition to the region.
Chief amongst are objectives are Pik 5318m, the much attempted and yet still unclimbed highest summit in the Djangart range. In addition to this we also have a number of other exciting objectives centred about the Eastern end of the range.
Access to the valley is challenging and will be achieved by a helicopter flight from the local town of Maida-Adyr. After establishing a basecamp at the foot of the glacier (and keeping a keen lookout for bears) the six of us will attempt lightweight, alpine-style ascents of whichever peaks look most promising. There have been a handful of previous trips to the area but most of the previous expeditions have focused on exploration of the Western end. With only Google Earth and 40 year old Soviet military maps to guide the way much of our knowledge of the area will have be gained after we arrive.
Our team of 6 have planned and prepared for the trip for many months and the expedition has had considerable financial support from the Mount Everest Foundation, British Mountaineering Council and Alpine Club. We have also recently received a fantastic selection of some top end hardshells, down jackets and Polartec fleece layers from Berghaus which will be put to the test in the mountains.
You can follow our progress live as we climb by visiting http://www.djangart2013.co.uk/
Or our Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Djangart2013)
Or Twitter (https://twitter.com/djangart2013) pages.
Departure is on 31st July, wish us luck!