01 January 2018: A team of injured ex-servicemen is starting the new year with an epic new challenge – scaling Mount Aconcagua.
At 22,841ft (6,962m), the mountain in Argentina is the highest peak in the southern and western hemispheres, and is notoriously difficult to summit due to its extreme and changeable weather patterns.
The 65 Degrees North (65DN) climb is the latest in a series of endeavours designed to prove to the participants that there is life beyond injury, and to encourage other wounded military veterans to benefit from rehabilitation through adventure.
Inmarsat sponsors the project, which also has the support of the Endeavour Fund set up by The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. For the Aconcagua climb, which is due to start on 8 January, the team will take two rugged IsatPhone 2 satellite phones, an IsatHub terminal to use with their own smart devices, and an ultra-portable Explorer 510 BGAN terminal.
Expedition leader Richard Morgan, a former Royal Marine Commando trained in Arctic survival, said: “We carry satcom kit first and foremost for the safety and welfare of the team. Aconcagua is the highest peak 65DN has attempted to date and it will also be the longest time we’ve spent on a mountain. For three members of the team it will be their first exposure and experience of extreme altitude for a prolonged period.
“It’s important that we have the ability to communicate with the support and medical team should any issues arise, and provide situation reports.
“We will also rely on Inmarsat to be able to share the journey through social media, such as interacting with followers via live Facebook videos, and we will be conducting radio interviews from the mountain.”
Three of the team taking up the challenge have completed previous 65DN expeditions, including climbs of Mt Vinson and Kilimanjaro, and a coast-to-coast cycle ride in the Pyrenees.