65 Degree North challenge comes at the right time for RuthPublished Sunday, 12th March 2023
Ruth Lanckham, a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, says 65 Degrees North’s latest expedition has come at the perfect time for her.
The 24-year-old has been selected as one of the six WIS beneficiaries (wounded, injured or sick service personnel) on the 65DN venture which will see a 10-strong group ski across the Hardangervidda Plateau in Norway - a six-day mission over 140 kilometres.
Ruth qualifies for the 65DN expedition because she has been suffering from PTSD from a combination of a personal issue while on the mine sweeper HMS Pembroke followed by a stint on HMS Tyne involved in the monitoring of the migrant situation in the English Channel.
“The personal issue while on Pembroke four years ago, I managed to suppress that but the stress of being involved in the migrant crisis in the Channel took its toll. It was stressful and the long hours were extremely gruelling,” explained Ruth, who is from Caerphilly but works in the Royal Navy Personal Support Group in Portsmouth.
“I am really proud to have been selected by 65DG and I’m really buzzing to get going - having something like this to be involved with really helps with my mental health.
“I think it will help me to be around other forces personnel who have had to overcome similar issues.
“I am still awaiting treatment for the PTSD so this trip to Norway has come along at exactly the right time for me.”
In her six years with the Royal Navy Ruth has skied regularly and she has ambitions of becoming a ski instructor after her time with the navy is over.
“Although I am quite an experienced skier this is the first time I have done cross country skiing so I’m looking forward to that challenge.”
Ruth, along with he dog Nelly has been putting in the training.
“I’m not sure Nelly is very happy with me the amount of walking we have put in over the recent weeks but we have been putting in two to three hours a day in the hills around my home in Cwmcarn.”
Ruth sets out with the group on Friday March 17 and are expected to complete the challenge on March 22.
The Team will consists of: Georgie Smith, Ruth Lanckham, Craig Skinner, Lee Spencer, Sean Gane and Ray Evans, with the Support Team including: George Matthews (Team Leader), Billy Baxter, Ross Matthews, Ben Clark (Team Doctor).