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Young explorer off to Himalayas

Posted on June 29 2014 at 3:02:33


Many youngsters look forward to a relaxing holiday after their A-levels, but one Barnt Green teenager will be taking a trip with a difference when he joins an expedition to the Himalayas.

Abel McLinden will set off for a five-week adventure in the Ladakh region of India when he finishes his studies at South Bromsgrove High School next summer, as part of a team assembled by the British Exploring Society (BES). 

The 17-year-old hopes to study Geography at university and is also keen to enhance his photography skills on the trip, which includes not only mountaineering but also carrying out important scientific research.

“The BES is actually a charity which specialises in developing young people through expedition, and the data we collect will be used in a wide range of research projects such as the British Antarctic Survey,” says Abel, who is one of 30 youngsters going on the trip along with 20 adult leaders and scientists.

He was chosen for the expedition after an online application and a face-to-face interview: “I didn’t tell my parents anything about it until I’d been chosen!” he grins.

The adventure will begin next July with a week of acclimatisation at the Dalai Lama’s palace, before exploring the region’s 6,000-metre peaks and carrying out glacial and meteorological studies at base camp.

Before that, there’s a training weekend next April where Abel will meet his fellow explorers – although a Facebook group has been set up to help them get to know each other.

Abel is a triathlete so his fitness level is already high, but he’ll be doing more specific training such as rock climbing to prepare for the expedition. Then there’s the small matter of raising the £5,000 needed to fund the trip. . .

As well as his two part-time jobs and doing gardening and labouring work for local residents, Abel has set up crowdfunding and social media campaigns and will be organising fundraising events in the coming year.

As a brand ambassador for BES, he also gives talks in local schools and receives £200 each time he gets another youngster to sign up for an expedition.

Anyone who would like to donate can do so at, while Abel’s blog offers more information about the expedition, BES and the charitable work they do: visit

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