Many people, organisations, websites and books have helped us get to this stage - and we're not even in Kyrgyzstan yet! There are sure to be some people inadvertently missed off this page, but hopefully it is a fairly comprehensive list of those kind enough to have helped us.

Captain Scott Society

The Captain Scott Society marks the link between Scott and Cardiff by replicating the farewell dinner in Cardiff each year, and giving two awards to expeditions. We applied for the 'Spirit of Adventure Award' for the expedition that best exemplifies the spirit of adventure of Scott's expedition and were very honoured to be awarded a grant of £2000 towards our expedition.

Mount Everest Foundation

Mount Everest Foundation logo

The expedition is supported by the Mount Everest Foundation with a grant of £1350. We are very grateful for this grant, and are extremely happy that our expedition is supported by such a prestigious organisation.

GORE-TEX Shipton Tilman Grant

Eric Shipton and Bill Tilman were avid mountaineering and adventure enthusiasts who believed in travelling in small, compact teams, unburdened by porters and excessive bulk. They seemingly got a thrill out of getting by on the bare minimum required to achieve their goal. Selecting a team was equally as important as how they traveled. They chose close friends who had mutual respect and trust for one another.

The annual GORE-TEX® Brand Shipton/Tilman Grant was established as a tribute to the spirit of adventure embodied by the endeavors of these two men. The Grant provides $25,000 each year to be divided among three to six expeditions that are most in harmony with Shipton and Tilman’s philosophies.

The Alpine Club

The Alpine Club Fund is a fund for members' expeditions, which has supported us with a grant of £350.

The Alpine Club is the original mountaineering club of the world, and is still at the leading edge of mountaineering expeditions, providing a forum for sharing knowledge and experience. The Alpine Club Fund exists to promote and assist members' expeditions, and is keen to support the future of alpine style mountaineering expeditions.


ITMC provide 'adventure and culture travel' in Kyrgyzstan and were recommended to us for organising our in-country logistics.

They arranged accommodation in Bishkek, airport transfers and the impressive (and well-maintained) 'truck-bus' that got us as far as possible up our unexplored valley. They showed considerable knowledge and efficiency and were incredibly helpful. We'd highly recommend them for organising everything from a cultural tour of Kyrgyzstan to a fully-blown mountaineering expedition.

British Mountaineering Council

British Mountaineering Council Insurance logo

The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) is the UK representative body that exists to protect the freedoms and promote the interests of climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers. They have given approval to our venture, adding to the confidence and support given by the MEF.

Worts Travelling Scholars Fund

Matt, Doug, Jo and Dave were all successful in gaining £600 each from the Worts Travelling Scholars Fund, administered by the University of Cambridge.

The Worts Travelling Scholars Fund gives grants to encourage Cambridge students in international travel involving research. A wide range of topics from the cultural aspects of the country to scientific work can be undertaken as the research element. Due to the lack of knowledge about the area and the mountains we intend to explore and climb, our expedition has a large component of geographical exploration.

British Mountaineering Council Insurance

British Mountaineering Council Insurance logo

The BMC Insurance team tirelessly put up with our insurance application and constant questions, eventually agreeing a policy with us for what is a complicated expedition due to the lack of information about the area and the mountains.

Cambridge University Hillwalking Club

Cambridge University Hillwalking Club logo

We all met in CUHWC over the years, and are indebted to it for allowing us to escape the flats of Cambridge every term. We are all ex-committee members (5 ex-presidents), so have all taken a major part of the club, and the club has taken a major part of our university lives. The club has not only facilitiated hillwalking, but also allows like-minded people to meet each other and do more adventurous activities such as mountaineering, scrambling and climbing.

International School of Mountaineering and Pat Littlejohn

International School of Mountaineering logo

Not only has Pat Littlejohn given us valuable information about mountaineering in Kyrgyzstan, but ISM is also responsible for all of our initial forays into alpine mountaineering with their highly recommended Student Week.

Kelsick Educational Foundation

Bethan was successful in gaining £360 from Kelsick Educational Foundation.

Kelsick's Educational Foundation exists to provide financial support to individuals, schools and groups under the terms of the Will of Ambleside's greatest benefactor, John Kelsick, who bequeathed land in trust in 1723 to provide education for the young people of the town.

Royal Geographic Society and Shane Winser

Royal Geographic Society logo

We were kindly given access by the RGS to previous reports to see what other people have done in the expedition area. The RGS also provides the books 'The Expedition Handbook' and 'Expedition and Wilderness Medicine' and have given us advice to help keep us on track with the initial planning of the expedition.

Student-Run Computing Facility

Student-Run Computing Facility logo

The Student-Run Computing Facility kindly host this website (as well as many others) for free, providing a very useful and flexible service as well as excellent and friendly support.

Tim Moss (The Next Challenge)

The Next Challenge logo

Tim provided some great initial input when we were thinking of going to the Altai in Russia, as well as having a very interesting and informative blog.

Cambridge Alumni in Kyrgyzstan

Various Cambridge University alumni based in or originally from Kyrgyzstan have given us great advice. It's hard to read between the lines in some of the information given to us, and some words of wisdom from people actually living in the country (but not trying to make a profit from us) has been invaluable.

Our Parents

We are of course indebted to all our parents for getting us this far in life (in some cases probably not an easy task!) and for many of us giving our first experiences of hillwalking. We would also like to give particular thanks to:

  • Jo's parents have agreed to be our UK contact for updating the website, and will be our only UK contact throughout the expedition.
  • Bethan's parents for putting all eight of us up in their house on our training weekend and feeding us some wonderful food.
  • Dave's parents for writing the amusing and realistic scenarios we used on our training weekend, helping to make us think about what problems we may encounter while out on the expedition.

Andy Gibson Training Fund

The Andy Gibson Training Fund exists to make grants to active members of CUHWC to undertake courses in hill and mountain activities. The seven of the team (all but Michael, who had Level 2 Wilderness First Aid in date) who undertook the Level 2 Remote Emergency Care Course in June 2012 received £20 each towards the cost of it from the Andy Gibson Training Fund.