A Welsh team has completed its monumental challenge to reach Base Camp, Mount Everest, all in aid of our charity.
The Regional Director of Wales, ex-serviceman, Peter Davies, takes part every year in various challenge events, either in the UK or overseas to raise awareness and much needed funds for the charity. In November this year, after reading a book called Seven Steps from Snowdon to Everest, he decided to take a team from Wales. In preparation for their trip, during July the team took part in the Snowdonia Challenge, a 100k trek set in the beautiful Snowdonia National Park.
By November they were ready for the challenge of a lifetime and the difficulties of high altitude and harsh living conditions in the Himalayas that they may face.
Peter explains; “We departed on a cold damp Saturday morning to meet up with the UK expedition leaders and team doctor from London. We had an opportunity to visit the Monkey Temple while spending two days in the capital Kathmandu, prior flying to Lukla Airport which is one of the most extreme and dangerous flights in the world. The runway is 500 metres long and is located on the side of a mountain which is a challenge all of its own.”
Peter thoroughly enjoyed the trip, he added; “We experienced breathtakingly beautiful scenery, a fascinating culture and friendly people. Meeting the villagers whilst trekking through this landlocked gem, our route took us via the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar through beautiful valleys, dense forests and across glacial rivers, enjoying tantalising glimpses of the mighty Everest before we reached our goal of Base Camp.”
On remembrance day, LCpl Tiffany Holt, a serving soldier from 14 Signal Regiment, Haverfordwest, laid a wreath at Tengboche Monastery with the mighty mountain in the background. The team held a two-minute silence.
Peter stated: “It was a very special moment for us all and it brought the team, which included a serving soldier, civilians and Veterans, even closer together in support for the task ahead.”
After a two week trek they finally arrived at Base Camp on 15th November.
Most of the team experienced altitude sickness on the way up the trail but soon after the Base Camp photo, Peter’s brother, Glyn Davies, collapsed and had to be taken off the mountain by helicopter.
He had suffered high altitude cerebral edema but is now home and recovering well in Swansea. Another team member was admitted to hospital on her return to the UK with suspected pneumonia, but is now back to good health.
Peter also returned unwell, he said: “I just returned with an awful cold which I believe is normal for this type of environment. I was so proud to be part of this team, what they had achieved and to share this once in a lifetime experience with them all. I’d recommend this type of challenge to anyone as the people and scenery where simply amazing. Don’t let the chance of sickness put you off.”
The team organised many fundraising events in both Cardiff and Swansea over a period of a year which raised an amazing £15,000 for The Soldiers’ Charity.
If you would like to donate to this worthwhile cause please visit their Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/companyteams/everestbctrek