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British Army Gurkhas summit Mount Everest

16 May 2017

On Monday 15th May members of the Gurkha Everest Expedition reached the top of Everest, becoming the first to scale the world's tallest peak this year.

The 14 summiteers, including three Gurkha soldiers, made it to the summit at 1:15pm - a time confirmed by Gyanendra Shrestha, a Tourism Ministry official. This is the first time that serving Gurkha soldiers have reached the summit.

The following morning ten more of the Gurkha Everest team made it to the summit - a fantastic achievement for the Brigade and the British Army.

Gurkha Everest Expedition at the top of Everest

Deputy expedition leader Major Andrew Todd said: "This is a fantastic achievement for the Brigade of Gurkhas, after our attempt in 2015 was called off due to the avalanches from the earthquake and our team then turned to assist the humanitarian aid that was required in the area.

"We are ecstatic about this success. It is another example of how the British Army strives to achieve excellence. We are delighted to have worked with the Sherpas to fix the ropes to the summit and to be the first team to summit this year - a great collaboration between Nepalis, working together to get the job done."



Weather window

Mountaineering officials had said, as the weather forecast stated high winds, that it was not certain when Everest aspirants would make their summit bids. On May 10, the so-called 'icefall doctors', a dedicated team of local climbers who prepare the route up Everest by fixing ropes, had attempted to reach the top but were forced back by high winds and heavy snowfall.

Making the most of a lucky break in the weather, the Gurkha team was able to work with Sherpas to forge a way to the summit. The team will now make their way down the mountain in the next 24 hours to regroup and prepare to return to Kathmandu before flying back to the UK.


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