The Countdown is ON!

(By James Clapham)

OK, so the excitement (or is that nerves?) is really starting to kick in with our flights to Nepal only three weeks away. With the tempestuous autumn weather and the physical training tapering down steadily towards our departure Dave and I have been focusing our energy on sharpening up technical skills.  Unable to get into the mountains for any more than a single day due to the weather we’ve made the most  of several one-day weather windows on the ever-reliable Tacul Triangle. Last week with Ross Hewitt
we snatched an ascent of “Les Temps est Assassin” which was somewhat thinner than the guidebook grade of 4 would suggest and fell to an excellent “i’m on, nope, i’m off, i’m still on…” lead from Dave at probably Scottish tech 8. With temperatures down to -10 and a blustery wind it was a good place to test out the new Mountain Equipment shield jacket which lived up to its name!

Looking up at the Crux pitch of Les Temps Des Assassin on the Tacul Triangle. Photo Ross Hewitt.

Looking down the crux pitch of Les Temps Des Assassins on the Tacul Triangle. Photo Dave Searle

Dave Leading a fun mixed pitch on the Triangle du tacul, just to the right of the Chere Couloir. Photo James Clapham

 It’s good to see things coming together with ascents of long-standing rock and dry-tooling projects falling in the last week or two – it’s nice to know we’ll be firing on all cylinders as we leave for Nepal. With the current unsettled weather it looks like we’ll be hanging around on our axes on the overhangs of the Zoo and Le Fayet until it clears and we can get on the big Alpine walls above us.
Also we would like to thank Mountain Equipment who recently sent our a big box of test team clothing for the expedition – we’re looking forward to testing it to its extreme limits on Talung,  although we’re definitely hoping for beau temps! Watch this space for our opinions later….
Also it’s worth wishing Gavin the best of luck as today the last day of his summer mountain guides’ assessment.  Fingers crossed for a first-time pass and return to the mountains for Mr Pike!!
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Nick Escourt Award.

On the 30/1/2012 we were awarded the Nick Estcourt Award for the expedition.  We are all very grateful for their £1500 support which among other grants that we have recieved will be a big help in funding the trip.  Here’s a recent article by Lindsay Griffin, including some of Talung’s history.

http://www.thebmc.co.uk/nick-estcourt-award-goes-to-talung-north-pillar