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Media information
14 June 2007

100 summits worldwide reached to celebrate charity’s anniversary

One hundred summits all over the world have been conquered to celebrate a national charity’s 75th anniversary.

The British Schools Exploring Society (BSES Expeditions) is this year celebrating 75 years as the longest running youth development charity of its type. To mark this epic achievement, hundreds of people conquered famous and lesser known peaks for the ‘75 Summits Challenge’, designed to raise awareness for their Fundraising Appeal. This provides funding to encourage and enable young people from all backgrounds to join expeditions. The popularity and support for the BSES has in fact resulted in 100 summits.

Everest was the 100th peak summited by Tori James and Ben Stephens on May 24 2007. This was not only a significant milestone for BSES Expeditions, but a record has also been broken. Tori, previously a Young Explorer Coordinator at BSES, is at 25 years old the youngest ever British woman to summit the mountain.

Celebrities, patron’s, employees, past and present young explorers, supporters of the charity, mums, dads and grandparent have been climbing high to give something back to the society which has dramatically changed the lives of many young people. They include patron Sir Ranulph Fiennes who climbed The Eiger (North Face) back in March, but not to be outdone, Membership and Events Coordinator of BSES Expeditions, Henrietta Staveley, embarked up on her own expedition to the top of Beacon Hill in Norfolk.

A total height of 195,292m has been reached, which is 22 times the height of Everest! (8,848m) and within Britain, all four highest peaks in each county, Ben Nevis, Snowdon, Scarfell Pike and Slieve Donard, have also been summited.

Will Taunton-Burnet, Executive Director for BSES Expeditions said: “It’s fantastic that so many people have been involved in celebrating our epic milestone. Taking the ‘75’ number as a key factor to the challenge, supporters of BSES, Jackie Spong and Ade Harris have climbed 75 summits themselves, walked 75 km to reach a summit and took a 75 year old up a peak!”

The aim of BSES Expeditions is to help the personal and social development of young people, through the challenge of exploring remote and demanding areas of the world through studying climate change in the Arctic and biodiversity in the Amazon jungle.

Few would dispute that participation in a BSES Expedition is a life changing experience. The combination of physical challenges with scientific fieldwork and conservation in remote wilderness environments encourages the development of personal confidence, teamwork and leadership skills, as well as a spirit of adventure and exploration.

The youth development charity is currently recruiting for young explorers to take part in expeditions which include the Amazon, the Antarctic region, Greenland, Svalbard and Ladakh in the Himalayas.

There’s still time to get involved in helping the BSES celebrate such a prestige milestone with one of your own climbs, so please visit the website at

Over the past 75 years, the BSES has:

• Discovered one new site of bushman artwork and artefacts in Africa.
• Trekked 57.6 times around the world. (That’s 2,303,840 km!)
• Measured 133 glacier snouts in the Arctic.
• Recorded 13,860 blood pressures in high altitude physiology studies.
• Protected 30,000 turtle eggs.

BSES Expeditions, The Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore,
London, SW7 2AR

Telephone: 020 7591 3141, fax: 020 7591 3140, email:

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Superb images are available on request

Notes to editors

The British Schools Exploring Society (BSES Expeditions) is a non-profit UK-based charity which this year celebrates its 75th anniversary. Founded in 1932 by the late Surgeon Commander G Murray Levick, a member of Scott’s Antarctic Expedition of 1910-13, the BSES is one of the longest running organisations of its type.

Based at The Royal Geographical Society in London, BSES Expeditions has provided opportunities for young people of all abilities between the ages of 16 and 23 to take part in adventure projects that involve science research in wilderness areas.

Recently honoured by the Royal Geographical Society with IBG at their annual awards ceremony, BSES Expeditions received The Geographical Award for ‘engaging young people with scientific fieldwork through expeditions’ for the past 75 years.

For further information

Carrie-Anne Savage, 020 7017 0894 or or Tina Fotherby, 020 7017 0892 or at The Yes Consultancy or

Nancy Pickup, Marketing Manager at BSES Expeditions, 020 7591 3141 or

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