The Sqn has developed its cadets in the challenging environment of the mountains of the UK and beyond since the early 1980s when cadets from the Sqn summitted Mont Blanc in the Alps. Since then the Sqn has mounted expeditions to Ecuador and the Alps as well as regular trips to Scotland in the winter. Currently 2 staff are working towards their Winter Mountain Leader qualification to stop the current requirement of having to hire Instructors for Winter conditions. However many former cadets have maintained their links to the mountains and the exploits of some of our ex cadets give an idea of where the Sqn can take those who we have introduced to the mountains. A few recent examples are:
Ex cadet Ian Rogers, one of the original 1982 Mont Blanc team has recently returned from an attempt on the summit of Mount Everest raising money for Cancer Research. Reaching 8800metres in height where in Ian’s words “semi blind with frozen corneas and struggling with an iced up oxygen mask, (it was -40c), I decided to turn around at the Hillary Step, heartbreakingly close to the summit”. The full story can be read at climb4life.co.uk, Everest 2009 Expedition, but it is an story of determination and courage.
Earlier this year ex Cadet Sgt Sarah Foley completed a two week hike through the Himalayas to the Base Camp at the bottom of Mount Everest, raising money for Childreach International, which she described as the biggest achievement of her life. Ex Cdt Sgt Ross Davidson, now at University, went climbing in the Scottish mountains before Christmas with Fg Off Nick Harvey, who is training for his Mountain Instructors qualification, in the best snow conditions for some time, tackling the Northern Corries including Aladdin’s Mirror Direct and Fluted Buttress Direct and as Nick commented “Weather was epic too – freezing winds on sat and sun with lots of spindrift – first time its ever been better to climb without my glasses on. Yesterday was okay so did a grade 4 which was wicked. Was -14 degrees driving through the glen this morning! “