22 May 2019: Exhausted but elated, Inmarsat-sponsored 65 Degrees North (65DN) climbers have made it to the top of the world.
Wounded ex- and serving Royal Marines Brendan Davies, Scott Ransley, Joe Winch and Tom Heal successfully made it to the summit of Mount Everest after expedition leader Rich Morgan made the tough decision to turn around just before the final push to protect the safety and boost the chances of the rest of the team.
But Inmarsat connectivity meant he and the rest of the support team didn’t have to wait long to receive stunning photos capturing the moment of victory, about which Joe said: “We were totally exhausted! Scott’s torch froze and broke on the final summit ridge which meant we had to work extremely closely to get to the top. I managed to get a few photos but then my camera froze.”
Unfortunately it was not only equipment that fell victim to the windchill temperature of -55°C at 8,848 m (29,029 ft) at the summit. Scott suffered frostbite to both his feet but managed to make the 2,300 m (7,500ft) descent to Camp 2 before the decision was made to call for help. A helicopter airlifted him to hospital where he is making a good recovery.
The rest of the climbing team is now reunited with Rich and the rest of the support team, including 65DN’s media officer Leesa Harrison, who posted on social media: “They are all extremely tired but delighted to be back at Base Camp where they can now relax and catch up with friends and family, thanks to Inmarsat, and tell them all about their incredible adventure.
“We’d like to say a huge thank you for all the incredible messages of support for the team and donations to our JustGiving page!”
65 Degrees North helps in the rehabilitation of wounded, injured and sick (WIS) serving personnel and military veterans by offering the opportunity to participate in extreme adventure. Since 2014, the organisation has supported over 80 challengers to overcome physical and mental barriers through endeavours such as mountain climving, long-distance cycling, and sailing around the coast of England. Along the way, they have raised over £100,000 for military charities and won the support of The Royal Foundation Endeavour Fund of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Everest team member Joe, who also took part in 65DN’s Denali expedition last year, wrote about his own ongoing recovery from PTSD in a moving blog.
Inmarsat has been supporting 65DN since the start with a satellite communications package for safety, publicity, and peace of mind for families. For the Everest ascent, the team carried a rugged IsatPhone 2 satellite phone, an IsatHub iSavi terminal to use with their own smart devices, an ultra-portable Cobham Explorer 510 BGAN terminal and an Explorer 710 BGAN for the fastest on-demand video streaming.
Meet the team and find out more: inmarsat.com