Wednesday, August 1

August 2001 – Kirgyzstan

Ever been to an ex-Russian state called Kirgyzstan? No, ok lets go and hike up the Inylchek glacier, yes on your birthday, yes camping again on your birthday! This time on a moving creaking glacier. Here we spent a couple of weeks doing the most amazing trek with Sasha and “family” The objective was to acclimatise and get my mountain legs in preparation for an attempt on an unclimbed peak in Western China. I have to admit that I planned a route that was a little adventurous for the amount of time we had available – it ended up being a hard long slog without any rest days. As it was Claire’s “holiday” I had hoped we would be able to rest along the way and enjoy the scenery – so I got grumpy (due to my bad planning) and walked at the back, while Claire did an amazing job literally skipping up the icy glacier. By now Gromit was an integral part of my climbing – and it was after this that he put himself in charge of planning and navigation.