Everest team sets off for Sagarmāthā

To commemorate 200th anniversary of Gurkha service to the Crown, the Brigade of Gurkhas is planning to put a team of Gurkhas on the summit of Mount Everest in 2015.

A short temple service followed by ‘best wishes’ parade were organised today in Bramcote for SSgt Subarna Gurung and Cpl Milan Rai prior to their departure for Nepal in an attempt to assault Mt Everest as part of the Gurkha 200 Everest Expedition team. If successful they will become the first QG SIGNALS soldiers to be at the summit of Mt Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. Comd, GM and all available members of the Regt gathered to wish them all the best for their successful expedition.

A secondary aim is to draw attention to the fact that Gurkhas have played a significant role in Himalayan exploration over the past 140 years. This is particularly true of the period before 1939. Put simply, before Sherpas there were Gurkhas. However, although several Gurkhas reached above 27,000ft on the 1922 expedition led by Brigadier Charles Bruce, and a further three were part of the successful Army Mountaineering Association expedition to Everest in 1976, a serving Gurkha soldier has never achieved the summit of Everest.

On Friday 6 March members of the expedition met senior officers at Army Headquarters in an event that celebrated Gurkha 200. The team listened to a talk by Gordon Corrigan MBE about 200 Years of Gurkha Service to the Crown before meeting Major General Nick Pope CBE, Director General Capability at Army HQ. General Pope wished the team every success and said that everyone in the Brigade of Gurkhas was behind the team.

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The Team

Captain Dick Gale  – Expedition Leader

Major Andrew Todd – Deputy Leader

Captain Buddhi Bandhari – Base Camp Manager

WO2 Govinda Rana – Team Member

S/Sgt Subarna Gurung – Team Member

Sgt Nirmal Purja Pun Magar – Instructor / Medic

Sgt Pasang Sherpa – Expedition Chef

Cpl Yam Bahadur Gurung – Team Member

Cpl Milan Kumar – Team Member

L/Cpl Dhan Ghale – Team Member

Spr Shakti Gurung – Assistant Base Camp Manager

Rfn Umesh Gurung – Team Member

Rfn Maher Bahadur Thapa – Team Member

Rfn Rakesh Sunawar – Team Member