Herts & Bucks Wing

  Adventure Training Group


Nepal 1991

Herts and Bucks Wing marked the 50th anniversary of the Air Training Corps in 1991 with a 24 person expedition to climb a 20,000 foot Himalayan peak. 

Our objective was Imja Tse (Island Peak), which lies about 5 miles from Everest, and was first climbed by members of the successful British Everest expedition in 1953

When we reached Island Peak, our ascent route took us across a high level glacier and up a steep ice cliff to the summit ridge, so every team member had to be proficient at moving on steep snow and ice and familiar with the use of ice axes, crampons and ropes. The essential training took place in Snowdonia and the Lake District in the two winters before the trip

To reach 20,000 feet without serious medical problems requires careful acclimatising, so most of the expedition was spent trekking to our mountain, gaining a little height every day. The trek to and from the mountain took us through some of the most spectacular scenery and below some of the highest mountains in the world, including Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam

In this area, roads, railway lines and canals simply don't exist, so everything has to go along the footpaths, and we would often have to step aside to let a line of fully laden Yaks pass




Our route took us through Namche Bazar - the main town of the Sherpas and a famous staging post for major climbing expeditions in the area. Set in a natural amphitheatre, Namche is only accessible by foot, but sherpas and traders travel long distances to attend the Saturday market




      Web site by: Flt Lt Geoff Bowles RAFVR(T), ML(S), SPA                                                            This page last updated on 28 October 2003