The planned expedition builds on the tradition of previous successful student expeditions to Armenia, Russia, Syria or Vietnam, all organized by the Traveller’s Club SK ASK ČR in Plzeň. It is also important to highlight that after finishing this expedition they will all have fulfilled the expedition requirement for the most advanced gold level of the DofE programme.
The expedition has obtained an honorary patronage of the CEO of the DofE programme in Czech Republic, Tomáš Vokáč. He says: “The expedition called No Limits Himalaya 2016 is exceptional in terms of high school student level activity both domestically and internationally. It is also noteworthy for including a wheel chair user, whom the students want to help to enter these otherwise inaccessible places. The fact that the youngest participant is just 15 years old also says a lot.”
The first Mayor’s Deputy of Plzeň Martin Baxa also promised an honorary patronage for the expedition activities. An official patronage of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is also in negotiation, just like a patronage of the Deputy of the British Ambassador in Czech Republic, Tim Voase. Dan Přibáň, who is one of the DofE patrons stated his support and noticed that the expedition is totally exceptional in Czech Republic. “I really like how they show with the expedition that disabled people are not excluded and should not be approached with any special care. We should treat them as equals and I am grateful that the expedition spreads this message, which is why I am a large fan of it,” says Dan Přibáň.
The students have been training intensely for the difficult expedition since February, when they did their first expedition workshop in west Bohemia, where they learned about the DofE expedition criteria and where they completed the first aid certificate with the Water Rescue Service. The expedition team then learned how to work with map, they explored Buddhist culture and they divided the team roles and discussed the group psycho-hygienic principles. During Easter there was a mock expedition in the Czech Forest during which the participants trained some key skills essential for Himalayas. “We went through topography, then we discussed the dangers of freezing tents, we sought for water where there was none and we did find it. We cooked on petrol stoves that we are going to use in the mountains. We learned how to overcome barriers with Honza and how to steer the wheel chair in difficult terrain. We also shot a reportage with Czech Television and our promotion videos.” This was stated by the students about their 50 kilometres long expedition on their official Facebook page
No Limits Himalaya 2016. The page now has around 1000 fans.
The last teambuilding of the expedition group was led by a successful Czech mountaineer Jan Trávníček. Jan gave the team valuable advice about his own experience from Himalayas. You can read more on the activities of the expedition team on their blog No Limits Himalaya 2016, which is also written in an English version due to the international popularity of the project.