British Patkhor Expedition 2023
The aim of this two-man expedition was to make the first ascent of a line on the north/east face of Patkhor (6083m) before traversing the peak and descending via its south face. On 13 July, the pair moved to a position below Patkhor's north-east spur. The following day, they climbed a couloir to a col at 5200m on the spur. It was on that evening that things took a turn for ill. The pair consumed freeze dried meals which, it transpired, had gone off. Both succumbed to sickness and they were forced to put aside several packs of spoiled rations. They elected to continue on half-rations and, despite tiredness, made good progress before poor weather and challenging route finding forced a retreat. During the descent, Yates suffered a fall when an abalakov thread, which was not secured to a back-up screw, blew. With Yates’s back clearly badly injured, the pair attempted to arrange a helicopter rescue which never arrived and Yates endured a long journey back to the road and eventual evacuation. The pair are keen to highlight the risk of relying entirely on freeze dried meals and to stress that the odds of a helicopter rescue in Tajikistan appear low to nil.