An unofficial group of airmen from the United States Air Force (USAF) is climbing the world’s mountains to spread patriotism and pride in the military, and raise funds for military charities. The team has already achieved six of the famed “seven summits” of the world as part of the USAF Seven Summits Challenge. At this moment, they’re pushing toward the final challenge, the summit of Mount Everest.
Taking part is Capt. Colin Merrin, a GPS operator from the 2nd Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS). Merrin and the USAF Seven Summits Team will climb the Southeast Ridge of Mount Everest via the South Col, a route originally pioneered by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953.
The seven summits are the highest mountains of each of the seven continents. Climbing all of them is regarded as a top mountaineering achievement.
In the photo above, Merrin is shown standing at Aconcagua base camp in the Andes mountain range in Argentina. His trek up Aconcagua in February 2012 helped prepare him for his Everest climb.