Logistics

A climbing expedition does not consist of just climbers climbing. There are huge logistical preparations needed before even leaving the UK as well as in the country of approach to the mountain.

Even the Alpine style expeditions that Joe was involved in required permission from the country that was used to approach the mountain from. So for the Dunagiri two man expedition with Dick Renshaw in 1975, Joe had to obtain permission from the Indian Government and be allocated a Liaison Officer (LO) who would stay with the expedition, ensure all the rules and regulations were complied with and assist where possible. Permission to climb was quite difficult to obtain and friends had to help assure the Government that it was possible to undertake an expedition with so few people. Joe reported that the LO was also rather disappointed as he had ideas of being associated with a high profile important expedition – very different to this one!

The LO and porters also have to be fed and provided with what we would now call PPE (personal protective equipment). These requirements were formally laid out in a document by the Pakistani Government, which applied to the K2 1978 expedition.

The amount of equipment and supplies that need to be carried varies depending on the number of people involved including porters, whether supplementary oxygen is being used, the country of approach, other aspects to the exhibition such as filming or medical research. Arrangements have to be to receive mail to Base Camp during the climb and, of course, for getting porters to come back to Base Camp to bring everything back down again!

For example;
Changabang 1976 two climbers, less than half a ton carried, 15 porters, approx. costs £2000; K2 1978 eight climbers, five tons carried, 300 porters, approx. costs £50,000-£60,000.