Fundraiser Angela Hunt tackled a 20,182ft challenge as she hiked up Stok Kangri as part of a six-day trek across the Himalayas – all in aid of the RAF Benevolent Fund. Angela wanted to support the Fund after witnessing the care they gave her father during a difficult time. When his health deteriorated the RAF Benevolent Fund was there to support him by offering a relaxing respite break at a seaside home.
Ormond Edward Hunt served in the RAF during WWII as part of the Photographic Reconnaissance Unit serving in Java, Indonesia and Burma. He left active service in 1956 and subsequently joined the RAF reserves. During his career he also photographed several members of the Royal Family including HM Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. In this guest blog, Angela tells us all about her trip and why she’s very proud of her achievement.
My first night in Delhi was abruptly disturbed when a mouse decided to run across my body…welcome to India! Three room changes later and a phone call from my husband and I felt much better.
The following day I visited the Taj Mahal; one of the most beautiful memorials in the world and I can’t believe I have seen it twice now.
A few days later I arrived in the small airport terminal in Leh where my real journey began. Proudly wearing my RAF Benevolent Fund T-shirt I spent the next few days sightseeing and acclimatising to the conditions.
On the first day of the ascent of Stok Kangri I felt the stirrings of 'travellers tummy' at 4.30am but nonetheless, after a 45-minute drive we began our climb. The first three hours of uphill walking were the most uncomfortable as I walked and vomited, I couldn't even tell you what the scenery was like as I could only concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other.
Luckily, our local guide took my day sack which enabled me to continue walking and at the end of our first day Rumbak at 3797m was finally visible.
Thankfully I awoke the next day feeling much better unlike another team member who was forced to leave due to an uncomfortable night. It was another difficult day of walking but I was really enjoying the thrill of being in the Himalayas. I saw the first glimpse of tents high up on the hill and knew we were getting close to Base Camp.
On the fourth day of the climb I spent the afternoon asleep and woke with an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach. It appeared that my bout of sickness never really left me and came back to spoil my summit.
We were due to leave at 11pm to attempt the final stage but I just didn’t feel up to it. Arrangements were made that I would start the descent back down at sunrise. The next morning I awoke to stories that the others hadn’t made it to the summit either; mainly due to fatigue and the temperature.
Our descent back down took six hours on foot, where we captured some beautiful scenes…made all the more special as I remembered that it was my Dad's birthday!
We ended our trip with visits to the wonderful markets in Leh and squeezed in a day trip to do some white water rafting.
I am certainly not disappointed with my achievements, I have seen some of the most beautiful views in the world and have reached 5050m and am very proud to have raised £843 for the RAF Benevolent Fund.
By Angela Hunt