How to organize an expedition? 

Well, you'll have to invest a lot of time but it's not as hard as it seems. Here are the rough steps we followed the last year. 

Pick a goal. 
Get a good team together. 
Contact an expedition agency. 
Make a to-do list. . 
Train hard! 

 

1. Pick a goal

I've endlessly checked the American Alpine Journal for trip reports. Websites like planetmountain.com are also very useful. The criteria were clear: the mountain had to be beautiful, around 6000m and preferably unclimbed. After a while I fell in love with the Hindu Raj and the pictures from the French expedition fom 2007. I contacted the climbers and they were positive about our plans. 

 

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2. Get a good team together.

Below you see the 2016 Pakistan expedition team with me included. For different reasons we couldn't go on a new trip together. I asked Danny Schoch, a former member of the NKBV Expedition Academy 2015, to join me. Danny was immediately positive about the plans. For a lot of reasons we wanted to be with four people. I texted Menno, and he didn't have to think very long. We never climbed together, but we hung around on the campsite of Argentiere in 2015 during rest days. We made plans for playing ping-pong together (that never happened) but it turned out to be the basis for the new expedition team. Menno introduced Ruud, a very strong rock climber from Rotterdam. During our meetings it quickly became clear that we get along very well.

 

  

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 3. Contact an expedition agency. 

Jasmine Tours is preparing our expedition. They've worked with a couple of Dutch expeditions before. A good trekking agent can make or break your expedition, as we figured in 2016, when the access and permit grant went wrong. We work for the first time with Jasmine Tours and so far everything is going well. They help us with organizing transport, food, tents, porters, cooks etc.

 

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4. Make a to do list

Of course there are many items to cover. We made a Google Drive task list with many items like gear, weather service, mountain rescue, medical assistance, communication etc. Once in a while we have meetings. It's a lot of work but it gives a really good feeling to prepare everything well.

   

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5. Train hard

Expeditions can be hard work, and we expect some slushy snow and heavy bags. I am training 4-5 times a week. Most important is cardio fitness, so I do cycling and running (when my knees don't protest). Additional strength training is definately helpful, and you can find me at least once a week in the weight lifting room or on a leg machine. And of course sports climbing and bouldering. I like that the most, and it helps a lot to overcome the crux passages of routes more quickly. 

 

We would like to thank our sponsors:

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