RAF Baton scales Britain's highest peaks

Eleven members of the RAF Mountaineering Association (RAFMA) scaled the UK’s three highest mountains on 7 May with the RAF baton.

The baton was carried to the summits of Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in the Lake District and Snowdon in Wales as part of the RAF100 Baton Relay.

The baton will visit every region of the UK and several overseas locations including the Falkland Islands, Washington DC, the Middle East and Afghanistan, from 1 April to 10 July 2018.

The RAFMA teams, including personnel who are new to mountaineering, ascended the Three Peaks via challenging routes, each with a commemorative poppy on their backpacks in remembrance of RAF mountaineers who have served over the last 100 years.

The Three Peaks event coincides with a major year of commemoration for RAF mountaineering as RAFMA celebrates its 70th anniversary and the RAF Mountain Rescue Service turns 75.

Some of the mountaineers that took part will travel to Nepal in September as part of a major RAFMA-led expedition, Exercise Himalayan Venture 18.

Group Captain Emily Flynn, the Chairman of RAFMA, led a team to the summit of Scafell Pike. She said: “This was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the physical courage and endurance of RAF mountaineers, and to participate in the RAF100 Baton Relay. It was also a great way for us to bring together the RAF Mountaineering community as we celebrate the RAF100, RAFMA 70 and RAF Mountain Rescue 75 anniversaries, commemorate previous mountaineering exploits and inspire the next generation of RAF mountaineers.

“Together with our Himalayan Venture expedition in September, today’s Three Peaks event is a great demonstration of the kind of adventure on offer in the RAF and the RAF Air Cadets. I hope it encourages more people to get into Britain’s incredible mountains, and to follow the Himalayan Venture journey on social media over the next few months.”

Led by RAFMA, Himalayan Venture 18 will see five teams of RAF mountaineers mount an expedition to the Rolwaling and Khumbu regions of the Nepalese Himalayas and bring together RAFMA and RAF Mountain Rescue personnel, regular and reserve RAF personnel, University Air Squadron cadets and RAF Air Cadets.

Expedition members – ranging from experienced mountaineers to novices – will experience tough and challenging conditions as they aim to cross the Tesi Lapcha Pass at 5,775m (18,881ft) above sea level and attempt a first British ascent of a remote peak.

Follow the expedition on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.