This was an ambitious undertaking with two strong, highly experienced teams climbing two different routes (Northern Ridge & SE Ridge) on Makalu (8463m), fifth highest mountain in the world, simultaneously without oxygen and completed the first traverse of the mountain. The High Altitude Development Team (HADT) undertook climbs of remote Pethangtse (6700m) and then Island Peak (6189m) with an experienced development team, climbing without Sherpa support above base camps. An Expedition Support Trek Team undertook a demanding trek, visiting all three base camps with a junior team of serviceman who had only just completed their service basic training.
There was a selection and on-going progressive training process. Participants were drawn from across the British Services.
BSME 2008 aimed to ‘put back’ into the communities of the Makalu region from where our porters are drawn. Far Frontiers Expeditions liased with the local community and a community project was set up to renovate and improve the school at Tashgoan which lies along the approach trek route and was visited by all 4 expedition teams. This really benefited the families of our porters and was a very positive commitment by BSME 2008.