In 2015, the Brigade of Gurkhas selected a team of 16 serving Gurkha soldiers who would attempt to summit Everest in celebration of 200 years’ service to The Crown.
On 25 April 2015, as the Everest team made their first acclimatisation rotation on the mountain, a catastrophic earthquake hit Nepal, bringing chaos and destruction to the Gurkhas’ homeland.
Large parts of the country were destroyed, devastating the lives of the Nepali people. On Everest, a huge avalanche swept through Base Camp, flattening everything in its path. Eighteen people were killed and the Gurkhas’ base camp manager, Captain Buddhi, received a bad head wound.
The majority of the team were stranded at Camp 1 (6,000m) on the mountain. The earthquake had destroyed the route back down to Base Camp, making evacuation by helicopter the only way to get off the mountain. The team sat tight for several days at Camp 1, while the injured and dead were evacuated from Base Camp. When that mission was complete, the team coordinated the helicopter rescue of 120 climbers and Sherpa from Camp 1 back to Base Camp. In April 2017, the team will return to Everest to finish what they started in 2015.
The 2017 Gurkha Everest Expedition team comprises serving soldiers from across the Brigade of Gurkhas. Their initial attempt to climb Everest in 2015, as part of the celebrations to mark 200 years’ of Gurkha service to The Crown, was brought to a halt when the Nepal Earthquake struck on 25th April 2015.
We intend to keep you posted and up to date with this mission with the team sending back images and video as they make their up the mountain.
There is also the expedition website.