Mt Everest Expedition
In April 2021, Wilderness Navigators Founder and Mountain Leader Jake Gardner will take his passion for the mountains to the Himalayas. As part of the Wilderness Navigators Professional Development Program, Jake will be Leading the base camp trail up to to 5,364m, attempt to summit two of the highest mountains in the world - Mount Everest 8,848m and Mount Lhotse 8,516m. In the process, Wilderness Navigators will be raising funds for Charity.
It will be the ultimate symbol of adventure; a dangerous and challenging expedition that will involve many hours of training, hard work and extensive preparation to be in the best position to successfully take on the most enduring expedition to date.
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Jake served with the Royal Air Force as a RAF Regiment Gunner and was injured on operations in Afghanistan on the 13th of January 2013.
Afghanistan, Helmand Province (13th January 2013) - One Kilometre into a fast pursuit in the Desert, the Armoured Foxhound where Jake was on top cover, hit a ditch at 60mph. On impact, he was catapulted out the top of the vehicle, lacerating both legs down to the bone and landed with huge impact on his back, where his arm snapped underneath him. He landed in a ditch moments before the armoured Foxhound slid to a stop just a few meters in front of him. As a result of this traumatic incident, Jake sustained a complex fracture and nerve damage to his left arm, two fractured vertebra and a back injury.
As a direct result of these injuries Jake was medically discharged from the military in Feb 2015. After being discharged, rather than taking a step back, Jake looked to move forward with his life and continue to push himself by taking on some of the biggest challenges in the world. It took over 18 months of painstaking physiotherapy and rehabilitation to recover from the nerve damage and injuries caused in 2013 and he finds himself incredible lucky that he his here today.
“Ultimately after getting injured in Afghanistan in 2013 I had an overwhelming feeling that life was too short. That my life could have ended at that point. Had I lived my life to the fullest? The answer was no and that now was the time to do so. My entire mind set changed.”
While recovering at the military rehabilitation centre at Headley Court, Jake set himself 3 Goals to achieve within a 10 year time frame post injury. The third and final goal is to Summit Mt Everest and that journey continues.
Championing the AGS Foundation
The AGS Foundation provides relief to those in need by reason of physical and/or mental disability or long term illness and promotes equality and diversity in disability.
Their “Challenging Disability” network provides a variety of resource from 1-2-1 mentoring to climbing the highest mountains.