Skip Navigation


Trust Helps Expedition Meet Mountain Challenge

Published: 15 Jan 2015   updated: 12 Feb 2015

RAF personnel enjoyed a top-of-the-world experience when they completed Exercise Bolivian Venture 2014.
Helped by a £4,000 grant from the RAF Charitable Trust, the RAF Mountaineering Association expedition took a team of 28, including instructors and novice personnel from the RAF and RAF Reserves, to the Northern Cordillera Apolobamba region of Bolivia and Peru.

The aim of BV14 was to contribute to the development of Service personnel through participation in challenging, physically demanding, extreme high altitude trekking and mountaineering activities in a remote location. Seven personnel focused on trekking, planning to circumvent the mountaineers in an eight-day push, and the remaining 21 on mountaineering, tackling three summits above 5,500m.

In fact the mountaineers topped eight peaks, four of them previously unrecorded, and all between 5,600 and 6,044m.
Fg Off Raphael Russell of 3 Air Experience Flight said: "The expedition provided numerous and fascinating challenges, and the enhanced responsibilities that high-altitude mountaineering introduced greatly improved my capability, awareness and experience levels. I'm truly grateful to the RAF Charitable Trust for supporting me."

Photo 1: The mountaineering team and support.

Photo 2: Fg Off Rafa Russell of 3 AEF with his team on the summit slope of Chaupi Orco, at 6044m.

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“This is the best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

Sign up for emails about the Air Tattoo, Concerts and Merchandise