Trainee Submarine Engineer swaps the deepest oceans for the highest mountains

Storyline: NavyFit

LH Lars Atkins successfully climbed The Matterhorn in Switzerland, raising money for the RNRMC and Macmillan Cancer Support.

LH Atkins battled extreme physical demand and adverse weather conditions to reach the 4478m summit of Europe’s most iconic mountain. 

On reaching the summit, Lars said, “There had been a lot of build up over the past 7 weeks to get this done with plenty of adversity in work, weather windows, injuries, and other life pressures but it all melted away at the summit. 

“When you have been dreaming about being somewhere or doing something for so long, it can be hard to process you are finally there. It felt atmospheric looking over Switzerland after this victory.”

The team training consisted of 5-hour sessions, 6 days a week. Sessions included weight lifting, climbing, and running. 

Lars said, “When we could we would also do 15 mile yomps with 25kg of sand in a backpack across Dartmoor as fast as we could to strengthen the back and legs. This was done with people serving in the Army and Royal Navy divers who were great at pushing us.”

Joining the Royal Navy in October 2022, Lars left a career as a police constable in the response department in Liverpool to train as a Submarine Engineer. 

Lars commented, “I think that job prepared me for quick decision making, the necessity of admin, and performing well under pressure. All transferable skills to this big challenge.

“I also had to juggle training myself for the challenge with settling into a new base, as well as teaching my friend Harry how to train for a mountain this big and organising charity events. It was 7 long weeks of hard work but it has all been worth it.” 

Lars chose to raise money for the Royal Navy Royal Marines Charity and MacMillan with his climb, saying, “I love how the RNRMC are like an umbrella charity and the number of issues they deal with. 

“After speaking with them to see how proactive they are in what they do, I felt the money would go somewhere great. 

“I personally have current and past battles with in my family involving cancer and I think Macmillan are easily up there with the best at supporting cancer patients' and families through tough times. 
“Both these charities go the extra mile and have the same values and qualities that I want to uphold in my own life.”

Lars is wasting no time in planning his next conquest, saying, “I recently did a diving course in Africa to get my mind away from mountains for a few days.

“The next challenge I am looking at is a speed ascent of Everest in 2024. I would also like to become more confident in the water and have friends who have swum the English Channel. 

“With the team I built for this challenge I think anything is possible, now is the time to let my imagination think of something incredible.”

Watch this space!

With the team I built for this challenge I think anything is possible, now is the time to let my imagination think of something incredible.

LH Lars Atkins