Prince Harry announces the postponement of the Everest 2012 expedition

  • WWTW | May 8, 2012

    The news that the Walking With The Wounded Everest 2012 Expedition supported by Glenfiddich has been postponed for this season was broken by charity patron HRH Prince Harry. Speaking from Washington, having been awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award by the Atlantic Council, His Royal Highness said:

    “Last year, I struggled to keep up with the four British soldiers whom I joined for part of their expedition to walk to the North Pole. Each of these men had recently been gravely wounded on the battlefields of Afghanistan. Theirs was the fastest team to reach the Pole that season.

    At this very moment, another team of our wounded are returning from Mount Everest. Sadly, I have to be the first to say they have been frustrated from reaching the summit by the unusually warm weather, which brings particularly dangerous conditions. However, the mere fact that they are up there on that fearsome peak, I find totally amazing.

    Ladies and gentlemen, these people – ours and yours – are extraordinary.”

    The reason for this disappointing news is simple: the temperatures experienced by our team this season have been the warmest ever recorded on Mt Everest. Russell Brice, the expedition leader who has led expeditions up to Mt Everest for the past 25 years, commented that he had “never seen conditions like this before – the mountain is in a very critical condition indeed”.

    Our team has been keeping you all regularly updated via our interactive team blog and this morning David Wiseman explained the team’s views on the matter – please click here to listen – and Expedition Team Manager Martin Hewitt put his thoughts into words and sent a written blog update through to Walking With The Wounded HQ, which is available by clicking here.

    Co-founder of Walking With The Wounded, Edward Parker, further explained the decision and fully understands the risks that face all who are on Mt Everest this season:

    “On Saturday I was contacted by Russell Brice, the expedition leader. We had chosen him to lead the team as he has comfortably the best record on Everest. He and I have been in close touch since the team deployed to Everest and I was aware that this season was proving to be particularly difficult. The main issue is it is unseasonally dry and warm. The result of this is there isn’t enough snow on the mountain side, leading to very loose rock, and hence rock fall. Also, as the core temperature of the ice cliffs is higher than normal, there have been a far greater number of avalanches. Last week an avalanche narrowly missed a team climbing with our boys.

    “A Sherpa was also hit by another and swept down a crevasse. He has survived but has a broken back. Last week one of our summit team Dr. Francis Atkinson, was also needed to tend another climber who has been hit by rock fall in the face. Coming back through the Icefall on Friday the boys missed two rock falls by no more than three minutes. During the last phase we were not able to get the team above the Lhotse Face and onto Camp 3 because of the dangerous conditions. In our discussions Russell described sending his Sherpa team through the Icefall each day (as they take supplies to feed our boys at Camp 2) like sending them off to battle. Sadly one Sherpa, from another team, has now been killed in the Icefall.

    “The decision not to aim for the summit was not an easy one, but it is the right decision to be made.

    “The team are very low as they have worked so hard over the last 9 months to achieve the target, but they do understand why we have made this decision and they were involved in the process.” 

    The team will partake in a scheduled whisky nosing, which will set a record for the highest event of its kind, at Everest Base Camp on Thursday 10th May. The record-setting event will be broadcast live at 1930 BST – come back to this website to find details of how to watch this unique, ground-breaking event in support of our wounded servicemen and women.

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18 Responses to Prince Harry announces the postponement of the Everest 2012 expedition

  • Darren hunt says:

    Gutted for u lads. But it ain’t goin nowhere. Come back next yr and see if everest will let u summit her for a brief encounter.
    Wwtw support the walk

  • Maria says:

    We are so proud of the team’s effort.The journey is what matters.To our eyes the team has already reached the top of Everest when they decided to take part in this expedition.Lovely to know that they are responsible enough to make the right decision.Congratulations to all and to the people of the organization for supporting them.I’m sure that their friends and families can’t wait to see their safe return.
    Here’s to making beautiful memories,everlasting friends and be the inspiration for so many.

  • It doesnt matter they didnt reach the summit, everyone should be so proud of what you have already achieved. Theres always next year!


    Mount Everest Facts

  • Clare says:

    Thinking of you all – you are all AMAZING x

  • Carol Jamieson says:


    I am so glad that they have postponed going to the summit. Their safety is the most important thing. It makes no difference to the pride we all feel for what they have achieved already.

  • Paul Lefever says:

    There are times when leaders have to make some very difficult and ultimately challenging decisions. For me, it clearly demonstrates that you have chosen your leaders well. Safety comes first, ego comes much later!
    One very positive thing that has comes out of this decision is that the lads get to go to Nepal again and get to experience the beauty of the himalayas. I hope the lads are not to despondent as they have achieved so much in such a short time.

  • Jen says:

    I am sorry to hear that the trip has been postponed. You all worked so hard preparing for it. I think it was the smart thing to do though. I agree with Maria in that even getting as far as you did you should be proud, it’s a major accomplishment! I know you are all determined and will return when it is safer. I will follow you guys wherever you go. God bless you all.

  • Shaun The Sherpa says:

    I feel for you guys that it’s not to be this year, but you will all be back next time. So very proud of you all, and what you have achieved so far. Best of luck for the future ps I can recommend the Waves pub in Lukla.

  • Russell Banks (former soldier) says:

    I understand that the soldiers are doing adventurous Expeditions, and that they are doing it part for fundraising but why can’t we see them with our Prince doing some of this high profile time at home and on our streets, in our hospitals, at our Disability Day Centres and at our Charities helping us here. I and many others are not particularly interested in the men and Prince climbing mountains.. the energy could be focused here at home because I know it would be more important, more beneficiaries. This whole thing appears artificial feeding British Officer egoes. I am a former soldier.

  • Bronco Lane says:

    Namaste Guys!

    I know how low you must all be feeling. Your team leader had no other option but to postpone an attempt untill sometime in the future,when better conditions allow. However, you can all quite rightly be really prowd of what has been achieved. Enjoy the unwinding period coming home. Cheers Bronco Lane

  • Susie says:

    You have shown us your bravery yet again in making such a difficult decision. Well done lads, each one a hero. X x x

  • Minnie Cecil says:

    If it is all in the taking part – then surely you have already climbed to great heights – far above Everest – so to speak.

  • Mary says:

    You have made the right decision even though it must have been so hard for you all to accept it. You have achieved so much already and I’m sure you will continue to ‘push the boundaries’. Enjoy the whiskey drinking! Keep safe. Best of luck for the future. Heroes one and all. xx

  • Jennifer Sundquist says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Maria above. You guys did a great job getting to where you did. Safety always comes first though and I think as hard as it was to make the decision, I believe it was the right one. I know you must all be disappointed but there is always another chance to finish it when the conditions are a bit better. You guys should be incredibly proud of yourselves for all that you have accomplished, not only for yourselves but for other wounded soldiers. Your motivation is an inspiration to them. Keep up the good work and I can’t wait to see you on your next adventure. God Bless all of you. Have a safe trip home.

  • Jenny says:

    As often is the case in many things like this, the greater good you can do as ambassadors for the charity, the incredible awareness raising you do and the safety of the locals supporting you is more important than the push for the summit. But that probably doesn’t take away the frustration you must be feeling. The mountain will still be there – you are (marginally!) more fragile than Everest and this year she won – but you can come back and beat her another time. We look forward to welcoming you home and hearing your incredible stories. Well done guys, you’re truly inspirational.

  • ann & Ray Hughes says:

    Gutted for you Martin but just glad you are safe, you guys will all be there to face another summit ! Love to you all

  • ann & Ray Hughes says:

    Gutted for you all Martin but you guys with be back to face another summit. Glad you are safe. Love to you all

  • Dominic Critchlow says:

    Yet again you boys have shown tremendous courage and should be extremely proud of yourselves. . It makes me proud to be British. . Well done lads. . The mountain will still be there in the coming years. . God bless you all. . You made the right choice. . Dom x