By Capt Dick Gale
The first training and selection event for the Gurkha 200 Everest Expedition (G200E) was held in July at the Joint Services Mountain Training Centre (Indefatigable), Anglesey. Applicants were invited to attend a one week slot with a chance to gain either Summer Mountaineering Foundation (SMF), Mountain Leader Training (MLT) (continuation training or for those with suitable experience) and Summer Mountain Leader (SML) qualifications.
Over three consecutive weeks, 79 members of the G200E Cadre took advantage of the unusually excellent Welsh weather. The enthusiastic participants quite literally ran up and down and over the Northern Snowdonia summits in a bid to gain a slot on the winter training meet and, ultimately, the chance to progress towards an expedition slot.
The instructors and training team were impressed by the drive, motivation and commitment of all who attended the training. Indeed, during his visit in the final week, the Brigade’s own Everest expedition leader, Kefford Sahib, observed that ‘even the younger boys had a really good grasp of what it was we were planning to do’ and were ‘totally up for the challenge’.
The next phase of training takes place in the Scottish Cairngorms in January 2014, and will no doubt prove a much sterner test. With only 48 places up for grabs, there is stiff competition to attend; those who attended the first phase of training in Wales will obviously stand the best chance of success.
Finally, our thanks must go to you to all at HQ JSMTC (I) for your help in hosting such an excellent and enjoyable training package.