It’s a bit of an understatement to say that there are plenty of challenges to overcome when attempting to scale Mount Everest. Martin Hewitt, who lost the use of his right arm after being shot in Afghanistan attempted to make it to the summit in May.
The former Parachute Regiment Captain came up with, and is now trying to complete, the Adaptive Grand Slam (AGS). Martin, who had already trekked to the North Pole, and climbed Kilimanjaro (the highest point in Africa), Mount Aconcagua (South America), McKinley (North America) and Elbrus (Europe).
Part way up it looked as though overcrowding and altitude sickness might scupper his chances of reaching the summit and left him a tough decision to make: remain stuck behind the slower climbers on the safest route up the highest mountain on Earth, or go “off the fixed lines”.
“We decided to back our skills as climbers and come off the ropes rather than risk running out of oxygen,” he says. “It meant my guide and I were only attached to each other, so we were both in trouble if one of us slipped. But it proved to be the right decision and, after overtaking more than 100 people, we made it.”
Once at the top, Martin unfurled the Blesma flag – the first time the charity’s banner has reached the planet’s apex – having completed a task that began eight years before. Indeed, success in those expeditions will, for Martin, mean completing the challenge to become the first disabled person to accomplish the Grand Slam.
To learn more about supporting or joining Blesma visit: www.blesma.org
Life after traumatic injury can be challenging Blesma is here for all serving and ex-Service men and women who have experienced loss of limb, use of limbs, hearing, sight or speech, either during or after Service.
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