February 5, 2003: In April 2003 the Royal Navy and Royal Marines are mounting a 2-month expedition to climb the North East Ridge of Mount Everest. Comprising ten climbers and three support managers it will be the RN and RM’s first attempt on the World’s highest mountain, marking the 50th anniversary of its first ascent by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing. The expedition patron is Admiral Sir Jonathon Band KCB, Commander-in-Chief Fleet.

The NE ridge of Everest constitutes a steep and technically demanding route, the final ‘sting in the tail’ being an exposed and committing ridge traverse at over 28,000ft, facing all the rigours of wind, altitude and low temperatures inherent to a Himalayan peak of over 8800m. During the ascent the climbers will use revolutionary oxygen breathing apparatus and will attempt the world’s first live video broadcast from Everest’s 8848m summit.

An exciting addition to the main expedition is the inclusion of 3 support treks from Kathmandu (Nepal) to the Tibetan Everest Base Camp (5,200m), passing through some of the most fantastic scenic and culturally rich environments the Himalayas have to offer. Involving 54 servicemen and women selected from all ranks, units and trades across the RN and RM, each trek will comprise a 16 day, less specialised venture, conducted with Nepalese Sherpa and yak support throughout, the aim being to widen the expedition to involve the whole Service. The teams will provide logistic resupply to Base Camp and conduct environmental projects to remove rubbish and waste left on the mountain by previous expeditions, helping to address an issue of significant international concern.

The expedition has been made possible with the support of private sector organisations including Luxfer Gas Cylinders who provided financial and practical help by donating funds together with 80 lightweight oxygen cylinders.

Vicky Butler, Luxfer’s European Marketing Manager added:“The RN/RM’s 50th anniversary climb is something we’re very proud to be a part of.

Luxfer Medical’s new-generation oxygen cylinders will be an invaluable piece of equipment on the Everest expedition. Not only are they 55% lighter than traditional steel equivalents but better still, climbers will have the added advantage of extended gas delivery even at 7700 metres!“.For further information about Luxfer Gas Cylinders please contact Vicky Butler on 0115 980 3899 or at vicky.butler@eu.luxfercylinders.com.