1. ITV Report

Injured soldiers begin Everest trek

The Walking with the Wounded team fly into Nepal as they start trek to Everest Photo: PA

The Walking With The Wounded charity expedition to Mount Everest got under way today with a 6-mile trek in the Himalayas.

The team members include five servicemen injured in Afghanistan and Iraq and none of them have been to this part of the mountainous region before.

Expedition manager and former Parachute Regiment captain Martin Hewitt said he was "blown away" by the landscape when he was flown into the Himalayas on a small helicopter.

It was a great flight in, the scenery became ever more domineering and impressive and the scale of everything just continues to rise. It blows you away it's fantastic.

– Expedition manager Martin Hewitt
Walking with the Wounded team member David Wiseman, from North Yorkshire. Credit: PA

It will take the servicemen 10 days to reach Everest Base Camp, where they will train and acclimatise before assaulting the 8,848m summit in May

The 45-minute chopper flights took the soldiers from Kathmandu, at 1,317m above sea level, to Lukla (2,840m).

Walking with the Wounded member Karl Hinett from the West Midlands. Credit: PA

The Lukla airstrip is famously fearsome.

The runway, which goes straight off the side of a mountain, is curved upwards to slow planes as they land and aircraft taking off head towards a vertical drop.

Mr Hewitt said the team was lucky not to fly in on an aircraft or a larger helicopter.

We were very fortunate to use the smaller helicopters.

We were due to travel in an MI-17, which is a powerful but old Russian helicopter.

I've been in one before and it's a nerve-wracking experience.

– Martin Hewitt, expedition manager