And they’re up!

And they’re up!

The camp radio crackles into life. A breathless and excited voice. It’s Julian Baylis, the expedition leader “Julian to base camp. I’m at the top and it’s amazing. You’re straight into pristine forest. This is incredible. Beautiful!” Everyone listening is grinning from ear to ear. “Base camp to Julian – congratulations mate, that’s fantastic news”.

Today was a momentous day, for all of us, but specifically for Julian. He has successfully climbed Mt. Lico, and realised a dream. It is also no mean feat. There is a very steep walk to the start of the climb (260m of elevation) and then you have to climb a cliff about 90m high. It’s not vertical (70 degrees) which helps in some ways but even using climbing equipment it’s a long way to lift yourself and your bags.

After Julian a few of the scientists went up and then the film crew that are currently with us. Over the course of the following hours, news filters down. There are mammal runs. There is an owl. There is a big white monkey! Of course the most likely outcome is that these are all sightings of species already known to science but in the next few days we will start finding out. Three remote camera traps are being placed up there as well as collection of other species of animals and plants. I should make special mention of the climbers that are on the expedition and have made this possible Jules Lines and Mike Robertson. Jules and Mike made the first ascent in order to put the ropes and gear in to allow the non-climbing scientists in. While the scientists have each struggled up once so far, Mike and Jules have been up and down numerous times lugging bag after bag. Truly heroic efforts and mind boggling fitness.

So far I have been spending my time doing dawn bird surveys with the African bird expert Lincoln Fishpool. It’s a very strange experience hearing and seeing so many birds I can’t identify and having someone I can annoy endlessly with “what’s that?” So far he’s being very patient. And I am learning, albeit slowly! Right time for a bath in the river!!

13 Replies to “And they’re up!”

  1. Awesome! Jan W & David Y (from Sheffield) wishing this amazing expedition every success.

  2. Richard, the dream realised! Hope the critter hunt is going to be amazing. Mum & Dad xx

  3. Looks very comfortable for an intrepid expedition. So glad it is going well and you are all happy. Can’t wait to see you and hear all about it. Mum xx

  4. Fantastic! Currently in a car on the M6 – SLIGHTLY jealous!!

  5. You have a coffee table in the middle of nowhere, now that is expedition chic! Congratulations all, momentous day indeed. So happy for you all, and especially Julian after all the planning, that all is going well 🙂 Happy identifying! D x

  6. You had me at ‘big white monkey’. So exciting. Loving the blog posts. Keep safe and happy climbing. Rach x

  7. Congratulations Julian and team. Very happy for you all. We have not stopped smiling thinking about it. This blog is very worthwhile. Love the pictures.

    Proud Mother & Pops

  8. I thought intrepid expedition camps were camouflaged not highly coloured like yours! Mum xx

  9. Are you in the rainy season?
    Well done all of you and Orlando and the film crew for climbing up[ and discovering treasures! xxx

  10. Congratulations Julian and team, we’ll be following you all here at home and also with my STEM class at school. Amazing times. The Lambs.