Battle Back Centre with Leeds Beckett University
An expedition team of injured, wounded and sick military personnel and veterans, led by Leeds Beckett University’s Carnegie Great Outdoors, successfully reached the summit of Mera Peak in the Himalayas.
The team, working alongside the Royal British Legion, reached the summit at around 2.50am UK time today (11 November).
Dave Bunting, Outdoor Development Manager for Carnegie Great Outdoors, was the Overall Expedition Leader. He said: “The last 48 hours has been a mixture of intense stress and one of the most rewarding projects I have ever done in the mountains.
Aiming to place a group of serving and veteran soldiers, who are also novice mountaineers, on top of a Himalayan Peak on the Centenary of the end of WW1 brought with it a variety of challenges but witnessing it first hand in this inspirational environment made it all worthwhile.
The ascent was very challenging physically and mentally but to watch this newly developed team of people overcome the challenges together and support each other in the most extreme and alien of situations was simply superb and will stick with me forever.”
Veteran Lyndon Chatting-Walters said: “Today has been the summit of not only Mera Peak but many months of hard training and organisation. It has been a difficult but humbling two weeks of trekking and acclimatising, and with the support and friendships made within the team it all became possible. It was a truly incredible experience to honour the centenary of the First World War standing on top of a hard earned mountain with fellow veterans.”
Christopher Joynson, Operations Manager at The Royal British Legion’s Battle Back Centre, and expedition leader for the Royal British Legion, said: “The summiting of Mera Peak is the culmination of 18 months planning between the Royal British Legion and Leeds Beckett University. That it occurred on Remembrance Sunday could not have been more significant. The team have done really well as many had no previous climbing experience and have now climbed a major Himalayan Peak.”
Many of those who took part in the expedition have received support from the Legion’s Battle Back Centre, a leading centre for the recovery and physical and mental wellbeing of both serving wounded, injured and sick and veterans. The Centre provides tailored programmes, designed and run by Carnegie Great Outdoors, which use sport and adventurous activities to help with both physical and psychological challenges.