The Junior Team
of the Army’s Everest West Ridge Expedition today arrived at Base Camp to set
off on their climb of the 6250m Island Peak in Nepal. The team are part of
the Army’s Everest West Ridge Expedition that is planning to put the first
Briton on Everest via the treacherous West Ridge.
The team of eight 16 and 17 year old junior soldiers left the UK on 1 April
and arrived at their start point in Lukla. Only six months ago they were new
recruits to the Army, today they set off on the challenge of a lifetime. They
have already completed a gruelling trek from the Nepalese village of Kukla to
Gorak Shep from where they climbed the 5545m view point of Kala Pattar.
This was just the preparation and they are now poised to take on Island Peak
itself. It is snowing heavily and they will make their ascent when the
weather breaks. From Base Camp they will scramble across an open gully before
taking the right hand ridge and onto the glacier they will need to climb to
reach the summit. The 300ft headwall leading to the summit ridge is the most
difficult part of the climb and will test the strength of everyone involved.
Once at the summit the team will enjoy some spectacular views with Lhotse
(8501m) and Lhotse Shar (8383m) to the north and Makalu (8475m) to the east.
Renamed Imja Tse, Island Peak was first climbed in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary
and Tenzing Norgay. The mountain is still a popular choice for climbers who
are preparing for greater things and is the perfect training ground for young
mountaineers to develop their skills whilst in the shadow of Everest.
“This is simply one of the most amazing opportunities a young person can have
in their lives” says Junior Team Leader, Major Graham Carter. “Six months ago
these young soldiers had only just joined the Army. Now they are following in
the footsteps of some of the world’s most famous mountaineers. The
experiences they will have the skills they will gain are second to none. It
is concrete proof of the real exciting benefits of a career in the Army.”
Zak Dunnings, Junior Team member said “Arriving at Base Camp has been
incredible. We now know that we are at the final stage of the expedition and
this is an immense feeling, particularly knowing that we are able to summit in
a few days.”
The Junior Team expedition will develop and test key qualities for an Army
career – physical endurance, mental strength, logistical skills, team building
and performance under pressure. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and
one only the Army can offer.
The attempt is timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the first Army
Mountaineering Association’s summit of Everest and will test Army planning,
preparation, training and team skills to the limit. It was conceived by
Expedition Leader Warrant Officer Class 2 Dave Bunting in 2003 and planning
and training has been ongoing since then. To ensure success and safety the
team have undergone extensive physical and psychological testing as well as
mountain training, ice climbing, first aid, nutrition and education about the
environmental and cultural impact of the climb
2006: The British Army West Ridge Expedition Dispatches
Sport Everest Boot has made some minor changes by adding
more Kevlar. USES Expeditions / High
altitude / Mountaineering in extremely cold conditions / Isothermal to
-75°F Gore-Tex® Top dry / Evazote Reinforcements with aramid threads.
Avg. Weight: 5 lbs 13 oz Sizes: 5 - 14 DESCRIPTION Boot with semi-rigid
shell and built-in Gore-Tex® gaiter reinforced by aramid threads, and
removable inner slipper Automatic crampon attachment Non-compressive
fastening Double zip, so easier to put on Microcellular midsole to
increase insulation Removable inner slipper in aluminized alveolate
Fiberglass and carbon footbed Cordura + Evazote upper Elasticated
Expedition footwear for
mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold. NOTE US
SIZES LISTED. See more here.
weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus
Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight
double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with
a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a
super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the
TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on
steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons
CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura®
upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating
closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated
removable footbed/ Vibram® rubber rand
See more here.