23 January 2017: A team of wounded ex-military servicemen set out on 9 January to conquer one of the toughest mountains in the world to show that there is life beyond injury.
On 21 January, two of the original 65 Degrees North team reached the summit of Mount Aconcagua – 22,841ft (6962 metres) above sea-level – and made a call back to the UK support team on an Inmarsat IsatPhone 2 satellite phone.
During the climb they had been carrying the flag of a fellow mountaineer Simon Brooke, who successfully summited the ‘Roof of Americas’ in 1999, but whose life had been tragically cut short due to a road accident in 2003.
Later, 65 Degrees North made an emotional call to Simon’s father, a former Royal Marine, on the satellite phone to inform him that his son’s flag had reached the summit for a second time.
Throughout the extreme challenge, the team has been able to rely on our connectivity to share their experience with a world audience in the hope to inspire and motivate others to succeed.
Travelling with two rugged IsatPhones, an IsatHub terminal to use with their own smart devices, and an ultra-portable Explorer 510 BGAN, the team has been able to use Facebook Live, send back updates, photos and videos, make morale-boosting calls home, receive messages of encouragement on social media and more.
Expedition leader and former Royal Marine Commando, Richard Morgan said: “These phone calls were so important to us and would not be possible without the support and sponsorship from Inmarsat for which we are so grateful.”
Unfortunately due to altitude sickness, three team members had to retire from the climb, leaving Richard and Brendan Davies, who joined the Royal Marines at the age of 19, to continue on to the summit alone.
Richard added: “Today has been the toughest thing I have ever done, it was horrendous at times and it just went on and on. Saying goodbye to Danny and Al less thn 600 meters from the top was devastating, but it was the right thing to do. Brendan and I pushed on literally giving it everything we had left in us to reach the summit.”
Find out more about 65 Degrees North, helping to rehabilitate wounded or damaged ex-servicemen and women by offering the opportunity to participate in challenging adventure.