This year the Royal British Legion is supporting the entire RAF family of Regulars, Reserves, University Air Squadron Officer Cadets and RAF Air Cadets in an ambitious and pioneering endeavour.
Himalayan Venture 2018 (HV18) is the flagship expedition of the Royal Air Force’s 100th anniversary celebrations. Working in partnership with The Royal British Legion it brings together people from across the RAF – from 17 year old Air Cadets to a 57 year old RAF Wing Commander to take part in one of the largest mountaineering expeditions ever launched by the RAF.
Coinciding also with the end of the First World War centenary, the 70th anniversary of the RAF Mountaineering Association and the 75th anniversary of the RAF Mountain Rescue Service, the expedition marks a significant year for all involved.
The culmination of these anniversaries means that the venture not only celebrates the anniversary of the world’s first independent air force but also thanks the generation which created them.
Each member of the expedition team will be remembering someone who fell during the First World War via Every One Remembered, and carrying their photos with them on the expedition.
Part-funded by The Royal British Legion, which also helps to fund the RAF Mountaineering Association, HV18 was launched in 2016 with over 250 initial applicants. Since then, applicants have been part of an 18-month journey that has seen them gain summer and winter mountaineering qualifications and undertake training in Wales, the Lake District and the Cairngorms.
This training has culminated with the selection of an expedition team of 80 people who will travel to Nepal in September 2018.
Anyone from absolute novice to experienced mountaineer was welcome to apply for this once-in-a-lifetime expedition to experience the challenges of high altitude mountaineering in Nepal.
The expedition will deploy to the Rolwaling and Khumbu regions of the Nepalese Himalayan range for a three-week expedition in one of the most beautiful yet challenging environments in the world.
With the expedition occurring almost 100 years to the month since the guns fell silent across the Western Front and in the same year as the formation of the first independent air force in the world, commemoration will be a central part of the expedition itself.