/ Researching Unclimbed Peaks

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EarlyBird - on 13 Mar 2019

I was at a Simon Yates and Mick Fowler lecture last night and the speakers were talking about unclimbed summits in Greenland and the Himalayas respectively. Mick Fowler also spoke about researching Himalayan peaks while recuperating from his cancer op. How does one go about such research? I have had a very brief trawl of the net and some very limited info comes up. I assume that there might be databases which are not publicly accessible, or not easily accessible? Any pointers from the cognescenti would be very welcome. 

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cb294 - on 13 Mar 2019
In reply to EarlyBird:

Google maps.

Specifically, look at shadow lengths to see if there are interesting faces or ridges. Then, see if you can find someone who has been to the area even if not climbing, and see whether they have pictures.

CB

Post edited at 14:17
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drgrange - on 13 Mar 2019
In reply to EarlyBird:

Paul Walker (Tangent) knows what's climbed and whats not in Greenland 

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alexm198 - on 13 Mar 2019
In reply to EarlyBird:

The reason these things are unclimbed is often precisely because there is no information about them. It's not some conspiracy where only the climbing elite are given access to a magical database of plum objectives. Exploration is just bloody hard work!

Assorted tips:

Leave some for the rest of us!

Post edited at 14:43
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EarlyBird - on 13 Mar 2019
In reply to alexm198:

> The reason these things are unclimbed is often precisely because there is no information about them. It's not some conspiracy where only the climbing elite are given access to a magical database of plum objectives. 

I didn't think there was  - which was rather Mick Fowler's point as well Thanks for the links - really helpful.

Post edited at 14:52
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In reply to EarlyBird:

I've climbed several unclimbed peaks and made new routes on others, in Greenland and elsewhere. Often, a chance photo or conversation has prompted an area to go to. If there is no guidebook, then the American Alpine Journal is probably your best starting point, followed by the Alpine Journal. Having sorted through all the expedition reports to see what expeditions have already been done then you need to try and track down the full expedition reports. The only way to really do this, unless you own a complete set of AAJs and AJs, or know someone who does, is to spend a day in the Alpine Club library in London (which has full sets of virtually everything) followed by a day in the RGS, also in London where most of the UK expedition reports are held. You may need to write abroad for foreign reports. The situation is slightly muddied by some commercial expeditions which often do not file reports. Generally these tend to go for less technical targets though, so anything reasonably challenging is likely to be documented.

If you are in the AC you can consult both libraries free, otherwise there is a small fee.

My last Greenland report is online and includes a few ideas for other expeditions to go at: https://www.needlesports.com/needlesports/greenland/staunings2003report.pdf . However, as with the alps, climatic conditions are changing and this may affect the best time of year to go and the best method of transport. Also places that did not used to require permits, may do so now and places that did require permits may require different ones. So, old expedition reports are good to know what has been done and good for ideas, but not so reliable for planning if they are more than a few years out of date.

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EarlyBird - on 13 Mar 2019
In reply to Stephen Reid - Needle Sports:

Thanks. Interesting to get an overview of the logistics as well.

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L.A. on 13 Mar 2019
In reply to EarlyBird: If you want some Alpine Journals for 'research' I have about 20 or so you can have for a small donation to Mountain Rescue.   Collection from High Peak

Mail me if you want them

Post edited at 17:28
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EarlyBird - on 13 Mar 2019

In reply:

Well, following your advice, folks, I've just found an unclimbed peak in the Karakoram. How exciting!

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alexm198 - on 13 Mar 2019
In reply to EarlyBird:

Now you have to tell us what it is -- that's the tax ;)

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leon 1 on 13 Mar 2019
In reply to EarlyBird:

That was the easy part now all you have to do is work out why it's still unclimbed, how to get there, who to baksheesh and how to afford it. All part of the fun 😊

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EarlyBird - on 13 Mar 2019
In reply to leon 1:

> That was the easy part now all you have to do is work out why it's still unclimbed

The danger of being shelled by the Indian or Pakistani army seems to be a major factor.

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Minneconjou Sioux on 13 Mar 2019
In reply to EarlyBird:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Saskatchewan_(Yukon)

There ya go. Saves you entering a war zone

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EarlyBird - on 13 Mar 2019
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

Reading between the lines I might take my chances with the Indian and Pakistani armies instead!

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