Although I always hoped to visit the Himalayas it always sounded far out of reach when I looked at the bigger picture – so many unanswered questions. How do you find an objective? Where do you find funding? How on earth do you arrange porters, cooks, and general expedition logistics?!? Fortunately living in North Wales I had people around me that could answer these questions, but I still remember the feeling those years ago when it seemed so implausible.
First of all I would recommend reading the article “how to find an unclimbed mountain” by the BMC. This gives a good idea of where to start in terms of seeking out an objective.
Secondly, get on the case with applying to the various grants, charities, and trusts available. Ideally you will want to have begun this process around Christmas/New Year so you are ready for the first deadlines. My recommendation is apply for all of them, you never know what you are going to get. The good news for younger climbers – who are often in desperate need of funding – is that there is a real push to encourage up and coming alpinists to get out to the Greater Ranges, I have mentioned where this is a particular criteria below.
Thirdly, go climb a big hill.
The BMC – Deadline 1st November / 1st March. Open to all BMC members. £500 – £1500 average.
The MEF – Deadline 30th September / 31st January. Open to everybody, particular focus on expeditions of an ‘exploratory’ nature. £500 – £2000 average.
Chris Walker Memorial Trust – Deadline 1st December. Open to everybody. £1000 average.
Mark Clifford Memorial Grant – Deadline 31st December. Open to everybody, particular focus on getting younger people to the Greater Ranges. £500 – £1000 average.
Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust – Deadline 31st October and 30th April. Focus is specifically on getting younger mountaineers to the Greater Ranges.
Sport Wales – Deadline 14th January – Open to anyone of Welsh origin or residency. £500 – £1000 average.
Alpine Club – Deadlines in March + September. Open to Alpine Club Members. £500 to £1000 average.