On Top of the World

It’s been climbed before, but not by this route. 

England are World Champions having reached the summit via a double assault of the Green|Yellow Band, an airy and exposed crossing of the Protean Ridge, an enforced bivouac on the gale-swept Pakistan Col, a careful, though comparatively straightforward crossing of the Sri Lankan Ice Field and finally the discovery of a route that ‘would go’ up the rock face known as the Indian Steps.

The summit was obtained at 3.15 BST Saturday 12th August 2011, the technical climbing of the final crux having fallen to the intrepid James Anderson brought up on the smooth holds and deep recesses of his native Pennine gritstone.

However, Expedition Leader, Andrew Strauss, was quick to acknowledged by a hastily erected satellite phone that it had been a team effort, citing especially the logistical support masterminded by Andy Flower and his team at Base Camp.

“We were never short of what we needed at any stage of the climb,” he maintained.

Technique, power, stamina, teamwork, courage and a GSOH have all been in abundance to make their ascent of this peak possible.

Now the summit team are in the ‘Death Zone’.  Their ambition is to remain there for the foreseeable future, but the objectives ahead are not to be underestimated. 

Winter climbing turns the Pakistan Col, the Sri Lankan Ice Field and the Indian Steps into a nightmare of crevasses, ice towers and unexpected avalanches all demanding very different techniques to those used this summer.

“We go on from here,” said the modest Strauss. 

Asked why he did it, he replied, “Because it is there.”



Filed under Just a quick brush

2 responses to “On Top of the World

  1. diogenes

    cricket has come some distance…in a damp English summer in 1974, India had no answer to Chris Old and Geoff Arnold – apart from a century by Gavaskar at Old Trrafford. Their last innings was concluded withjn about one hour, I seem to recall. David Lloyd scored a double-century; Amiss, Edrich, Greig and Denness scored at will. Of this line up, Tendulkar and Dravid have played in the county championship and made runs. No one else had a clue how to combat English conditions. Yes, a tail-ender can throw the bat and score a few runs but that is different from the skill of a real batsman.

    • Diogenes, this is what TM was fumbling for in https://downatthirdman.wordpress.com/2011/08/12/wake-up-everyone-something-must-be-done-test-3-day-2/
      The maritime temperate climate of the UK cannot be recreated in the sub-continent, but surely the ball can be changed – Duke MUST find something that lasts better in those conditions – and the surface.
      Sub-continental pitches have evolved to help home sides deal with England, Australia and South Africa, but in doing so they have produced a bland form of the game that also does not attract local support.
      The threat to test cricket is bound up in this. The Indian economy is now at a similar stage to the economy in England during the Golden Age of cricket.
      How interesting to compare the fortunes of Raina in IPL and Test cricket.

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