Beverley army cadet Alex Lenton is putting the final touches to his preparations for a once-in-a-lifetime trek through one of the world’s most remote and exotic mountain regions.
Alex, 17, of Cottage Farm, Routh, saw off stiff competition from hundreds of cadets from the Yorkshire and Humber region to earn a place on the 25-man Army Cadet Force’s expedition to the Himalayas.
As part of the rigorous and extensive selection process, Alex had to attend selection weekends where he had to prove his fitness with a series of 25-mile walks and fitness exercise programmes, as well as produce PowerPoint presentations for team members and instructors on the area he was hoping to visit.
He also attended mountain leader training to improve his map reading and field craft skills, St John’s first aid courses and team cohesion meetings, before being told he had made the final cut.
The former Beverley Gramar School pupil, who has been in the cadets for five years and is a corporal in the school’s detachment, is currently studying for a National Agricultural Diploma at Bishop Burton College.
But on July 24, thanks to the help of local businesses and individuals who have sponsored him, he will jet off as the only member of the expedition from Beverley on what will undoubtedly be a huge test of his character and endurance.
The expedition had initially been to Mount Everest and its surrounding peaks, but due to a late switch they will be heading to an even more remote region of the Himalayas – the Spiti region – which will present more challenges and obstacles than the more ‘touristy’ Everest area.
“The magic of Everest does capture the imagination,” said Alex. “However, the Spiti trek will be as demanding if not more.
“The trek will be through a more remote region of the Himalaya, therefore there is not the same tourist infrastructure in Spiti.
“We will be camping throughout the expedition rather than in the tea lodges as we would have done around Everest, and the trail is far less defined and there are few, if any bridges.
“This means that if I don’t carry my kit and equipment it won’t be available for me and will have to do without!”
The trek will take Alex and his fellow expedition members through some of the most breathtaking scenery this remote region has to offer.
They will be heading for Himachal Pradesh across some of the best trekking routes in India, taking in a full variety of landscapes in the process, from the lush Kinnuar Valley to the high desert of Spiti.
The trekking part of the expedition culminates in a climb up the holiest mountain in the region, Kanamo, where Indian mountain wildlife is in abundance, including the hugely rare snow leopard. This will include a tour of some of the region’s remote monastries and villages before they head back to Delhi – and one final moment to savour.
Alex continued: “No trip to India would be complete without visiting the magnificent Taj Mahal.
“To catch our breath the team will travel by road to Agra where we will stay in a four-star hotel with a swimming pool and enjoy a traditional Indian Dinner the following morning, followed by the fully guided tour of the Taj Mahal.”
If you want to make a donation towards Alex’s trip, you can contact him through firstname.lastname@example.org or by mobile on 07801164608.
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