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Ripon mountaineer prepares for British Army Himalayan expedition

An executive trainer and consultant who lives in Ripon is about to embark on a two month expedition to the Himalayas. Graeme Taylor 42, Managing Director of Centred Coaching, will join a 2 month British Army Expedition to climb Mt Manaslu the 8th highest mountain in the world. He departs on 23 August and will return in October.

Graeme, first started climbing in 1987 as part of Army training activities and since then has climbed and ski-mountaineered all over the world. A long career in the British Forces as a mountaineer, leader and coach has enabled Graeme to help others reach their full potential.



Graeme said:

This is a great opportunity for me to put something back into military mountaineering. We are a team of eight and seek to provide the platform for the less experienced members to go on and lead major expeditions in the future.

The trekking route is through a mountainous area which is prone to monsoon rainfall and landslides. Manaslu was in the news last year after an avalanche killed a number of climbers.

Having studied the incident we discovered that the casualties had pitched their tents in the fall line for anything coming off the mountain.

We will not be doing that! The extreme high altitude and the ability of our bodies to acclimatise will be the greatest challenge and we are taking nine days to walk in to the base camp which should see us acclimatised and ready to start working on the mountain.

It will be a test of endurance for everyone, even more so for some of the team who have not experienced these conditions before.

Mount Manaslu which means ‘Mountain of the Spirit’, is located along the border of Nepal and China, situated in west central Nepal. It was first climbed in 1956 by a Japanese expedition and it stands at 8,156 metres (26,759 ft) above sea level. The mountain’s landscape comprises of long ridges and glaciers, with the main peak dominating the skyline when viewed from a distance.

The expedition has been 3 years in the planning and Graeme started his physical preparations in May, “I’ve been focusing on my cardio-vascular endurance and also the muscles in my knees, where I have experienced problems in the past. In May I participated in a charity bike ride with some friends. We cycled from John o’ Groats to Burley in Wharfedale. I managed to cycle 413 of the total 503 miles. The knee did play up a bit but it isn’t going to thwart progress. I’m in good shape and looking forward to this expedition with great enthusiasm.”

His experience as a leader in difficult and testing environments stands behind all that he does in getting the best out of people. He specialises in building high performance teams, executive coaching, leadership development and motivational speaking. He has worked with a number of leading organisations, the MoD, the NHS, charities and small companies.

Graeme has worked on a number of ‘giving back’ projects which included a 3 year project to develop and lead novice group of ski mountaineers in an attempt to be the first British team to ski from one of the fourteen 8000m peaks in the world. Mt Shisha Pangma Famous British Mountaineers, Sir Chris Bonnington and Doug Scott CBE were patrons for the project and provided advice and guidance (2007). Unfortunately the team never reached the summit having being thwarted by heavy snow and an avalanche which wiped out a camp at 7300metres above sea level, fortunately no one was in the camp at the time.

Graeme has a passion for developing people of all ages. He regularly delivers inspirational talks and recently presented to school children with the message ‘think big and apply yourself and it will bring success in every area of your life’.

The team are hoping to blog during the expedition – subject to technology, you can follow Graeme’s progress at or the team blog at

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