Balmaclellan pilot heads for Everest

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An airline pilot from Balmaclellan, near Castle Douglas, has been chosen to take the Scottish flag all the way to Mount Everest Base Camp to present it to the Walking With The Wounded charity Team.

Thirty-four-year-old old Stewart Gibson was selected out of hundreds of applicants from the Scottish community. Stewart will trek for ten days to Everest Base Camp before he presents the flag to the Walking With The Wounded expedition team. From here they will carry it all the way to the summit in mid-May.

The Walking with Wounded expedition team are attempting to become the first group of wounded servicemen to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Stewart took part in a selection day, which entailed a British military fitness test, a medical check by South Pole veteran Dr Ian Davies, a teamwork test and a personality test. He was cleared fit to make the expedition.

The BA commercial pilot also took part in a TA commissioning course at Sandhurst and in preparation for the challenge has been doing lots of hill walking.

Stewart said he would be taking his Kindle with him as his luxury item and the thing he would miss most would be his new Jack Russell.

He said: “In my profession I have flown over Nepal a number of times, but never thought I would ever see Mount Everest with my own eyes! To me, this iconic mountain conjures up images of early pioneers; those who struggled through the elements in order to challenge themselves and prove to others that this could be achieved.”

Stewart will be forming part of the Glenfiddich Explorer’s Club, an organisation of pioneering spirits who seek to bring a taste of the Highlands to the wilds of the Earth.