The Army team attempting to
become the first ever Brits to summit Mount Everest via the perilous West
Ridge have taken the most historic of all steps in their record-breaking
attempt to climb the world’s highest peak.
In a significant milestone for British climbing, the Army on Everest Main Team
have finally arrived on the West Ridge itself and are now face-to-face with
the stretch of mountain that is set to see them into the record books.
Notorious for its difficulty, the West Ridge represents the most treacherous
part of the expedition for the team. Combating snowstorms and 100mph Jet
streams winds the Army will negotiate via the narrowest of margins, climbing
an unsheltered, thin stretch of rock positioned precariously upon one of
Everest’s sheerest drops.
Preparation has been key to the encounter with the West Ridge and the team’s
landmark arrival has created a wave of emotion and willpower amongst team
members who are now looking towards the final straight of conquering the
From this momentous point onwards, the team aims to establish Camp 5 at 8000
metres and make the final journey up the Hornbein Coleur of the world’s
largest mountain, to place the first ever British climber on top of Everest
via the West Ridge.
This is one of the Army’s toughest ever physical challenges and tests the
training, organisational skills and endurance that the British Army is famed
The journey to the West Ridge has taken the teams from Kathmandu, to Road Head
Base Camp and then onto the expedition’s base at Tilman’s Camp. From here
their journey here has taken them across ice fields and glaciers and has seen
them transport fuel, food and other goods to establish camps 1, 2 3 and 4.
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. The expedition is unique
in that three separate teams will climb three separate peaks in and around
Mount Everest. As one of the Army’s most extreme adventurous training
activities, the expedition will test and improve physical endurance, mental
strength, logistical skills, team building and performance under pressure.
Planning for the attempt began in 2003 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
2006: The British Army West Ridge Expedition Dispatches
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