Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

HMS Middleton climbs Mount Everest for charity in 12 hours

21 November 2017
On Monday 30th October 2017, the Royal Navy’s MCM 2 Crew 4, currently serving in HMS Middleton, took on the United Kingdom’s famous “3 Peaks Challenge” at the US Navy’s shore base facility Bahrain.

This was an extremely demanding physical activity held over a 12 hour period.

It was all in support of raising funds for ‘Fatboys Children’s Charity’, which provides Christmas presents for children in the UK suffering with Cancer and Leukemia.

On the day, the crew far surpassed their original target.

In fact, they not only smashed cycling the distance (650 miles) between the UK’s 3 highest national peaks (Snowdon (Wales), Scarfell Pike (England) and Ben Nevis (Scotland), they managed to climb the equivalent height of Mount Everest (8,848 meters), nearly three times the goal of their initially planned ascent.

It may take a while for us to recover but the achievement will last a lifetime and the money raised will make a huge difference to children’s lives this Christmas.

Lieutenant Commander Anthony Pimm

Over the 12 hours, teams of two and three continuously ascended the purpose built climbing wall at the NSA Bahrain, while crew mates simultaneously tacked the distances between the three UK peaks on four exercise bikes below.

The total ascent of the UK peaks is 3408m, meaning that the wall had to be climbed 426 times.  This is equivalent to climbing the Empire State Building eight times.

As the event started to unfold, however, it became clear that the efforts from everyone involved meant that the initial challenge could be completed in only half the planned time and that the 3 Peaks could, therefore, be scaled at least twice.

As soon as this was realised, morale soared and everyone was keen to achieve the revised, even more challenging, goal. Competition heated up on the climbing wall as crew members competed to see who could scale it the most.

AB(D) Henry Morgan managed to complete an astonishing 72 climbs in 1 hour, setting the bar high for anyone else. By the end of the day he had climbed the wall a total of 189 times, which is more than the height of Ben Nevis itself. A truly skyrocketing achievement!

With the hours ticking by, and an ever higher total elevation gradually being scaled, in the final hour the crew calculated that in fact they could climb the equivalent height of Mount Everest (1,107 climbs) and cycle from Lands End to John O’Groats (884 miles) all within the 12 hours.

As the final 10 minutes of the challenge started, there were still 22 climbs to complete. It only was in the last 10 seconds that the final hand hit the top of the climbing wall and a chorus of cheers erupted from below. They had climbed Mount Everest and cycled a total of 930 miles all in 12 hours!

A few of the Ship’s Company were anxious of heights and, until this event, had never attempted any form of climbing, even on a dedicated training wall.

Able Seaman (Mine Warfare) Alex Searle said: "I have always been pretty scared of heights. So, even getting the kit on to climb would have been daunting enough.

"Seeing everyone else putting lots of effort in, and remembering why we are doing this event, made me overcome my fears and I managed to complete 17 climbs.

"It was brilliant fun for a great cause!”

Throughout the day the crew had support from a number of different groups, including other members of the Royal Navy, United States Navy and members of the 32 nation Combined Maritime Forces also serving in Bahrain.

There was a spare belay line on the climbing wall and a additional exercise bike to allow anyone passing by to jump on or scale the wall to help the crew achieve these immense figures.

Lieutenant Commander Anthony Pimm RN, HMS Middleton’s Commanding Officer said: “What we achieved at the NSA in Bahrain can only be described as a monumental result.

"It was an amazing team effort from everyone involved and it took extraordinary reserves of physical and mental courage but my crew did it - and then some.

"It may take a while for us to recover but the achievement will last a lifetime and the money raised will make a huge difference to children’s lives this Christmas."

The event raised approximately £4,500 through online donations and money given on the day. All money will be given to the Fatboys Children Charity and at Christmas the charity will use that money to purchase toys and games for children who are in hospital suffering with Cancer and Leukemia.

Two members of the ship’s company, Able Seaman(Mine Warfare) William Jones and Engineering Technician (Weapon Engineering) Stephen Owen will be on hand on Christmas Day to help give out toys to these incredibly brave children and continue the connection between the crew and this extremely worthwhile charity. 

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.