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Charity Supports Pioneering Medical Mountaineers in Nepal

Published: 27 Apr 2016

Thirty RAF personnel are currently scaling new heights in the Himalayas on a ground-breaking medical expedition - thanks to funding from the RAF Charitable Trust.

RAF service men and women of all ranks have embarked on the tri-service venture to climb Dhaulagiri - the world's seventh highest peak in Nepal, both as mountaineers and for pioneering medical research. 

After launching in March, The British Services Dhaulagiri Medical Research Expedition (BSDMRE) team hope to reach the summit in late May.

The gruelling climb represents a huge leap forward in terms of discipline and style for a military expedition: The main team will attempt to climb the 8,167 metre peak alpine style, with no supplementary oxygen support and with innovative two-inch implants in their chests to monitor cardiac rate.

Medics will also study the effect of an injection of iron on the body's response to low oxygen levels, all in a bid to research the effects of altitude on the human body. The data may then provide invaluable insight into how the heart behaves and consequently to understanding the body's response to critical illness and to sport and exercise science. Such data hasn't previously been achieved above 6,000m by a military study.

Trekkers in the High Altitude Development Team (HADT) will then aim to climb the 6,980m Tukuche Peak, a subsidiary peak of Dhaulagiri, being mentored by the main team during their acclimatisation. 

The RAF Charitable Trust awarded £10,500 to support the thirty RAF BSDMRE personnel and alleviate the required individual financial contribution. The expedition, a quadrennial venture, provides a once in a lifetime opportunity, and the RAF Charitable Trust is thrilled to have been able to offer support. Follow the team blog HERE

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