Wales

TA logistics troops bag 157 'Marilyn' summits

Flags are raised at the trig point
Image caption The regiment trekked around Wales to climb all 157 'Marilyns'

A Territorial Army (TA) troop hopes to have set a record for climbing scores of Welsh mountains and hills.

Welsh Transport Regiment RLC (Volunteers) have trekked up all 157 peaks known as Marilyns since 5 July.

A Marilyn - a word play on 'Munro', a name for a mountain of at least 3,000 ft (914m) - is any UK summit at least 150m (492 ft) above its surroundings.

The TA regiment, which used to be called 157 Transport Regt, is aiming to clinch a record speed for the climbs.

The Cardiff-based regiment is the only army logistics unit, whether TA or regular, located in Wales.

It can trace its history back to the defeat of a Napoleonic French force which invaded Britain in 1797 by landing at Fishguard, Pembrokeshire.

The regiment's officers and soldiers include fire fighters, office workers, bank managers, police officers, cleaners and drivers.

A total of 25 of them have just returned from a six-month tour of Afghanistan, where they were based at Camp Bastion in Helmand province, where they drive armour-protected vehicles in supply convoys to outlying bases.

RSM Garth Taylor, 36, a regular soldier, said the 26-day challenge put the regiment's professional skills to work, as well as each soldier's fitness.

The challenge for the 14 participants began with them being airlifted to Bardsey Island, off Gwynedd's Lleyn peninsula, for the first summit.

From there, they drove north-to-south in two vans to take in all the summits, sleeping in cadet halls and TA bases on the way.

He said: "It was an exercise and tested not just our physical fitness but our logistical skills. We are a logistics regiment."

Two of the regiment acted as drivers, while one who was a trained chef prepared their meals, he said.

Image caption The group did push-ups when they got to the top of Garth Mountain

Three of the 14, including RSM Taylor, climbed all 157 peaks while two others missed only a few, he said.

He added: "This is the first time we've attempted anything like this. I came up with the idea and it evolved from climbing every mountain in Wales to climbing every Marilyn-class peak.

"I changed to Marilyns because of the link to our regimental history. The Welsh transport regiment used to be 157 Transport Regt and coincidentally there are 157 Marilyns."

He said the regiment hoped Guinness World Records would recognise their achievement as the time for others to beat.

They finished on Garth Mountain, outside Cardiff, which is the nearest to their headquarters.

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