A soldier from Wantage is attempting to climb the Himalayas.

Lance Corporal Joshua Bulpin, who grew up in the village of Ardington, flew out on Thurstday on the challenging 20-day trek.

The former King Alfred’s school, Wantage, pupil will join 20 other soldiers scaling the 20,423ft peak of Imja Tse in temperatures expected to plummet to -20 degrees C.

The 23-year-old said: “I’m really excited about going out to Nepal.

“I’ve always really wanted to do a mountaineering expedition like this and hopefully it’ll suit me and be an activity I can take further.”

Exercise Diamond Peak is part celebrations to mark the Army Air Corps’ Diamond Jubilee.

The 60th anniversary challenges also include rock climbing in Chile, skiing in the Norwegian Arctic and trekking in New Zealand.

LCpl Bulpin has been in the Army for five years and serves as an aviation communications specialist with 4 Regiment Army Air Corps, which is based at Wattisham Flying Station in Suffolk and operates the Apache attack helicopter. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2014.

He added: “I’m expecting that coping with the altitude will be really tough, but we’ve trained hard and done lots of medical preparation.”

Expedition leader Major Chris Andrews said: “There is great value in putting soldiers in demanding situations together outside the military environment, to develop their teamwork and confidence.

“Most of the team have not done any mountaineering before getting involved in the expedition.

“It will provide our soldiers with the opportunity of a lifetime to experience the breath-taking beauty of the Himalayas, whilst pushing themselves to the limit of endurance to achieve an objective and making lifelong friends – which is what the Army Air Corps is all about.”


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