As 2018 draws to a close, we take a moment to look back at the last 12 months, and reflect on what an incredible year of activity, individual, and team achievement it has been!
The team have been honoured to meet some amazing people along the way, and humbled by the generosity of all who have given their time, advice and expertise. We would like to say a very big thank you to everyone who has followed our journey, left messages of support for the team, or donated to our JustGiving Page, … we hope you continue to do so throughout 2019!
2018 Was an Amazing Year:
It’s January, and down in the Southern Hemisphere a 5-man Team is preparing to tackle Aconcagua, a little known but very difficult peak in Argentina and the highest in all the Americas.
Disconcertingly it is known to the local people as the Death Mountain. The march-in and subsequent climb is brutal, but on the 21st January two of the Team, having battled for 10 hours through heavy snow and horrendous conditions, exhausted and emotionally battered from leaving three Team members behind at the final camp, stand on the summit.
The whole Team then recover in good order and one writes : “This extreme challenge has given me the focus and motivation I need to push myself physically”.
It’s April, and down in south Devon a Team of 12 has gathered in the Brixham Quay hotel for one night prior to embarking on the Brixham trawler, the Leader.
There then follow seven days of sailing this extraordinary vessel, built as a trawler in 1892 and as rugged as they come.
We call this event Leader ’18, and it gives a very different group some unforgettable memories.
One who sailed with us writes: “A great assortment of Veterans at the start of the week who became a Team by the end of our time together”.
But then the Summer starts to go by, so it’s back into the mountains, and back on bikes:
It’s June and a 5-man team sets out to summit Denali in Alaska. It’s the highest peak in North America, known to local people as ‘The High One’.
It’s one of the coldest places on earth and deadly in extreme conditions. At 4am UK time on the 25th June, the whole Team stands on the summit having seen a great many others fall by the wayside, defeated by the conditions.
After it all, a Team member writes: “This challenge has given me the focus and drive to push myself and has had a positive effect on my mental health and well being. I hope I can motivate and inspire others to take on their own challenges, big or small, as there is life beyond injury”.
Time moves on and it’s now July and a Team of 12 gather in the Pyrenees for a week of mountain bike training over the local trails that are unforgiving and at times seemingly endless.
This is part an Endeavour in its own right and part preparation for a bigger event. One cyclist writes: “Thank you so much for an amazing experience, I have proved to myself I am fitter than I thought. I am honestly still shocked at the last few days, I stretched my self and I achieved so much from it! “
But now it’s October and a small team of cyclists are in Western Australia, just outside the Township of Mundaring preparing for that ‘bigger event’, a 1,000km ride through endless forests on an unsupported journey to Albany, down on the Southern Oceans.
Thirteen and a bit days later they arrive on schedule in Albany having in fact covered 1,107kms and climbed in the order of 49,000ft. One comments: “65 Degrees North and this experience have helped me to get back some self belief and confidence that I can achieve tasks set before me again and thus be of some value back in society.”
We are now looking ahead to 2019, and there is much planning and preparation already underway for our new and exciting challenges!