Weekend Warm-Up: Janhukot

“Bloody hard work” sums up the expedition that Malcolm Bass, Paul Figg and Guy Buckingham undertook in 2018. Hidden deep in the Himalaya is a gem that has avoided the popularity and overexposure of its higher neighbors. Janhukot has occupied the minds of these climbers since the 1980s but has somehow remained out of reach. Weather, incompatibility of team members and other circumstances have made 6,805m Janhukot an unfinished challenge for them. Until now. 

Paul Figg, Malcolm Bass and Guy Buckingham.


The three climbers, now in their late 40s and early 50s, admit to being “no spring chickens”, but have learned over the years to trust the process. What does this mean? Illness and altitude issues occurred early, which should have been a sign to give up. Instead, they saw it as a motivation to keep going. They walked across the icy plains below the mountains for two-and-a-half weeks, taking it on faith that they would see Janhukot soon. 


Their perseverance prevailed and eventually they set up their first camp at 5,900m. They lay sleepless in the tent, mentally preparing for the 1am start. The anxiety to complete the dream of many decades was overwhelming. 

The unclimbed summit shone through the poor visibility and mental strain of months of preparations. Eventually, standing on its elusive summit, the trio finally closed their chapter with a mixture of joy and relief.


Kristine De Abreu is a writer (and occasional photographer) based in sunny Trinidad and Tobago. Since graduating from the University of Leicester with a BA in English and History, she has pursued a full-time writing career, exploring multiple niches before settling on travel and exploration. While studying for an additional diploma in travel journalism with the British College of Journalism, she began writing for ExWeb. Currently, she works at a travel magazine in Trinidad as an editorial assistant and is also ExWeb's Weird Wonder Woman, reporting on the world's natural oddities as well as general stories from the world of exploration. Although she isn't a climber (yet!), she hikes in the bush, has been known to make friends with iguanas and quote the Lord of the Rings trilogy from start to finish.

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Benny Smith
Benny Smith
2 years ago

Congratulations on this absolutely remarkable first ascent! The video clip is well produced, I like the calm and relaxed atmosphere. You can really feel the mindset and determination of the climbers.