UK soldiers to scale Everest by West Ridge

London, March 23:

Soldiers hoping to become the first Britons to climb Mount Everest from its treacherous West Ridge have left for Asia to begin their journey.

The 19 men and two women will tackle the world’s highest mountain in temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius and often fierce winds.

Only 19 people, none of them Britons, have managed to conquer the West Ridge route. The team - all experienced high-altitude climbers - will be the first to approach the remote West Ridge in 10 years.

The climbers have been training for the ascent since 2003. “We want to make British history,” said Warrant Officer Dave Bunting, a veteran of nine Himalayan expeditions and 20 years of service in the army.