Just Go Climb a Mountain
In August 1975 two school teachers filled an old Ford Escort van with mountaineering gear and drove 6000 miles from Manchester to the Indian Himalaya.
Bashful about addressing their trip as an ‘expedition’, Joe Tasker and Dick Renshaw were pioneers in the art of throwing everything into a vehicle and just setting off. Himalayan mountaineering had traditionally been an intricate and political dance of application, team qualification, sponsorship and gargantuan publicity. Joe and Dick simply wanted to climb higher than they had before, in places they had never been, with no fixed camps or support team.
Fuelled by stubborn determination, cost-saving gumption and the assistance of the sensational Mrs Beaumont, the pair made the first alpine-style ascent of the South East ridge of Dunagiri in October 1975.
Dennis Gray, general secretary of the BMC, hailed it as the “climb of the year, even including the Everest expedition”.
The Ford Escort van never made it back to Britain.