Today, October 5th 2011, has seen a Walking with the Wounded team summit the world’s 8th highest mountain, Manaslu, deep in the Himalayas. At 13.45GMT the Walking with the Wounded Project Manager Captain Marin Hewitt, along with Expedition Leader Russell Brice (of Himex) announced via satellite phone, that seven of the original nine in the Walking with the Wounded team reached the summit of Manaslu earlier today.
The team suffered a set-back in late September when weather forced them to abort their first summit attempt when thick snow made the climb too dangerous.
Expedition Leader Russell Brice comments: “It turned out to be a good year, even though we were first worried that the weather would play tricks on us and we would not reach the summit at all.”
The Walking with the Wounded team, which comprises of nine wounded servicemen, left Base Camp five days ago and moved up to a new, higher camp each day until they reached Camp IV on October 3rd. There they liaised with their sherpas who helped them change their oxygen bottles ready for the summit attempt. At 5.30am on October 4th, The Walking with the Wounded team left Camp IV for their second summit attempt.
Martin Hewitt comments: “It was wonderful to see the team working so well, and moreover to see them climbing through areas that on our first rotation seemed difficult and caused some of the boys a few troubles. I knew as we steamed through Camp I and II, we were in with a chance to summit if the weather held.”
The summit team comprised of: Andrew Hawkins, Manindra Rai, Karl Hinnet, David Wiseman, Francis Atkinson along with Walking with the Wounded’s North Pole veterans Jaco Van Gass and Martin Hewitt. Two further wounded soldiers did not make the summit due to difficulties at altitude.
After the outstanding success of last year’s North Pole expedition, Walking with the Wounded have set their sights higher for 2012 – to be the first group of wounded servicemen to successfully summit Mount Everest.
In May 2012, a group of wounded servicemen will attempt a life-changing journey to the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest.
Climbing Everest is considered one of the toughest challenges in adventure exploration and the climbers will be required to overcome a number of obstacles along the way including; altitude sickness, immense fatigue and unpredictable climbing conditions.
All of the adventurers have been injured in the line of duty and. Very few have attempted to conquer this mountain and much fewer have completed it. The summit of Manaslu was a critical event in the team’s training schedule and it will now fall to Russell Brice, Martin Hewitt and charity Founder Edward Parker to select the team for Mt. Everest 2012.
Charity Founder Ed Parker Comments: “ I am deeply proud of the Walking with the Wounded team, and this achievement, summiting the world’s 8th highest peak just 800m lower than Mt. Everest, it is a wonderful achievement for the team and embodies the spirit and tenacity of wounded servicemen and women all over the world. Whilst summiting Manaslu is an incredible individual achievement, this is only part tof a build up to the big event. The team have some way to go before they will be ready for Mt. Everest 2012, the year of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.”
Walking with the Wounded aims to raise money to re-skill and re-train injured servicemen and women from the British Armed Forces. Walking with the Wounded aims to raise a further £2m for identified education projects and training courses, which specifically account for both physical and mental injuries sustained by servicemen and women.