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Special Air Service (SAS) - Mountain Troop

Experts in mountain climbing and arctic warfare, SAS Mountain Troops are trained to survive and fight in extreme conditions. Mountain troop's skills can be called on anywhere from the frozen hills of Norway to the mountains of Afghanistan.

Mountain troopers train in various European climbing schools such as the German Alpine Guides course at the Mountain Warfare School at Mittenwald, reaching a proficiency that rivals the best climbers in the world. Many serving and ex-SAS men go on climbing expeditions up some of the world's highest mountains, including Everest.

During the cold war, Mountain Troop's skills would have been required in Norway, guarding Nato's northern flanks against an expected Soviet push. Their skills have been put to the test during the 1982 Falklands conflict and, more recently, in the mountain ranges of Afghanistan, where their training in the disciplines of high-altitude warfare paid off.

The men of Mountain Troop are highly skilled in :

  • Scaling sheer cliffs and rock faces
  • Arctic survival techniques
  • Long distance skiing

Such skills allow the SAS to reach areas that most sensible people would consider inaccessable and to attack the enemy from unexpected directions.

Mountain troop climbers use a range of specialised climbing equipment that includes :

  • special climbing shoes with sticky rubber soles
  • climbing harnesses
  • carabiners for hooking onto climbing rope lines
  • nuts - metal wedges that fit into cracks, used to secure climbing lines
climbing nut

SAS Mountain Troops are proficient in a similar skill-set as the Royal Marines Mountain Leaders.


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