Airman reveals his burning ambition to climb volcano

An airman based at RAF Leeming has set himself the challenge of climbing one of the world’s highest active volcanoes.

SAC Thom Dobson has already started training for the tough expedition to climb Cotopaxi in Ecuador at the end of October to raise money for charity.

He is already an experienced member of the Mountain Rescue Team based at RAF Leeming, Northallerton, but the 23-year-old will need to be super fit to scale the peak which is almost 6,000 metres high. It has erupted several times over the past century, and increased activity was noted in 2002.

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In addition, SAC Dobson will be spending four months of his training time on an operational deployment to the Falkland Islands in his military role of maintaining service vehicles.

He said: “I heard that a friend was going on an expedition out there to raise funds for charity and it really appealed to me. The photos I’ve seen look amazing – it will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’m a bit nervous about altitude sickness but I’m sure I’ll achieve my goal.”

He is hoping that as well as going on an incredible adventure, his endeavours will raise £2,000 for the Royal Air Forces Association.

Anyone wishing to help him achieve his £2,000 charity target can donate at