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Lt Col Melissa Bowerman

7 Summits First for British Army Lieutenant Colonel 

Lt Col Melissa Bowerman (RAVC) successfully completed the 7 Summits Challenge in January 2016. Almost on a whim, Melissa climbed Mount Everest in 2013. Despite an incredibly challenging descent which due to a lack of oxygen caused her to lose her sight for some time, a mountaineering addiction developed, and since then she went on to climb the highest mountain peak on each continent in only three years.  

The Colonel’s Antarctic voyage involved pulling a sledge across vast ice fields and climbing steep snow slopes to reach the summit of Mount Vinson. This adventure wasn’t without additional excitement when bad weather fixed her on the mountain for over a week. Indeed Melissa celebrated Christmas up there as best she could, in splendid isolation with only snow for company, snow we Brits can mostly only dream about.

Less than 300 people are thought to have climbed the Messner 7 Summits. Melissa becomes one of around 10 UK women and almost undoubtedly the first woman in the British Armed Forces ever to have achieved this challenge.