Tom Livingstone and Mathieu Maynadier – Pumari Chhish

This summer Tom Livingstone and Mathieu Maynadier look to be climbing Pumari Chhish.

They will mostly be off grid but when we do get updates we will share them here…

25th July

“After first seeing photos in 2018, it only took a few shots of the Pumari Chhish massif to convince me to go there one day. I mean, look at it! Hard climbing at altitude on a sunny south face – what’s not to like?!

“At the start of 2021, Mathieu Maynadier asked if I was interested in going there with a team. Things didn’t go super smoothly (eventually, it was just the two of us and we hadn’t climbed together loads) but we both know you put the red rope on the right, so we figured we’d be ok.

“Our journey into the mountains in Pakistan was very smooth thanks to Ishaq and his team at North Pakistan Adventure, and a bunch of strong dudes we paid to be porters when we reached the last village (called Hispar). They were friendly but real sticklers about money.

“From the start of the three-day trek to base camp we had very mixed weather, with snow and sun every few hours, but once we’d reached our home for the next few weeks we were psyched.”

22nd July

Tom

“Mathieu Maynadier and I have returned from the Karakoram mountains after a great time and a few adventures. The Pumari Chhish peaks provided a backdrop for our base camp, but unfortunately we only had four days of clear weather in about 30.

“In those four days we made an attempt at the one reasonable line we could see under those circumstances – the ‘south-east-ish’ ridge of Pumari Chhish East (6850m). After three days of ‘classic Karakoram ridges’ (aka crazy snow mushrooms and cornices) we came within about 100 vertical metres of the summit. However, throughout that third day we had heavy snow and poor visibility, making the situation feel pretty real. Sure, I go climbing in Scotland in winter in a storm, but it feels quite different at almost 7000 metres. We expected good weather but the snow continued to pour.

“We decided to bail, and in hindsight this was the right decision: we were already pushing it – pitch after pitch – and weren’t sure what lay ahead, with more bad weather inbound; it’s better to be safe than sorry; and the mountain will be there next time.

“The route itself was a bit serac-threatened (something I wasn’t super happy about) but I think our teamwork worked well and we stayed strong throughout. To climb 99% of P.C.E. (still an unclimbed mountain) feels bittersweet, but we’ve got all the beta for next time!

“The main project(s) we had in mind will have to wait – I’ll definitely be back!

“Thanks to Mémé for a great expedition. I think we made the most of the situation and the weather (which was some of the most unsettled I’ve ever had during an alpine trip). Of course, most of the photos make it look great but don’t be deceived – we usually had all four seasons in a day.

“Also big thanks to Mueez and Shukur for being great friends, guides and cooks at base camp; to Rob Smith and Yan for forecasts; my sponsors for helping out; and – very importantly – Christelle for being happy for me to go away!”

21st July

Mathieu

“Karakoram Mushroom » Great attempt on Pumari Chhish east and first ascent of the South east ridge.
Unfortunately on the fourth day of our ascent the weather was not good as expected and we were catch by the storms and forced to stop our ascent at the base of the final Mushroom of the east summit of the Pumari Chhish east.
With Tom Livingstone we just came back from three weeks in the camp. It was a great trip on a magical place. After a light acclimatization (2 night at 5200m) in a mix weather when the first good window came we decide to give a try on the South east ridge.
This ridge less steep that our initial plans gave us some hardcore fight with the snow and some crazy ridge parts typical from Karakoram.
The first three days were under a weather than rarely in Karakoram no one clouds and more than 150km view.
But on the fourth day some unexpected bad weather came …we push at the maximum and around 11am it was too much the spindrift became bigger and after reaching the top of the mix at the base of the final Mushroom we decided to stop.
And hopefully we find our tent totally crashed by snow ans the descent was epic surrounded by avalanches.
Finally after a almost 20h fight on the fourth day we were safe on the glacier.

“It was our first trip together with the super psyched Tom Livingstone and that work perfectly thanks man for your great enthousiam amd looking forward next climb together.”

20th July

Tom Livingstone & Mathieu Maynadier have returned from the Karakoram after an attempt on the south-east ridge of Pumari Chhish East (6850m). Thwarted by poor weather, they came to within a tantalising 100m of the unclimbed summit before making the difficult call to descend. Details soon.

3rd July

Mathieu

“After spending few days at the base camp. We have done two good days in the mountains until 5600m, it was great for our acclimatization.

“There is a good weather window next week. We plan to do a second acclimatization lap in the mountains this week and after we will be ready for the Pumari Chhish”

23rd June

Mathieu

“Today start our trip to Pumari chish with Tom Livingstone in three days we should reach the base camp and stay there for the next months.
Back in civilization end of July !!!

“See you soon.”

22nd June

Tom

“In Pakistan with Mathieu Maynadier. So far so good, and tomorrow we head into the big hills.

“As always, the character of Pakistan shines brightly, familiar sights blending with friendly smiles. We have complied with all relevant travel restrictions and rules, and will be treading lightly

“I expect we’ll have plenty of time for me to improve my handstands

“See you in six weeks. Over and out!”


Links

Tom Livingstone

Mathieu Maynadier