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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Man With No Hands Or Feet Climbs the Matterhorn

What's your excuse?

by: Ted Alvarez

image: Wikimedia Commons
image: Wikimedia Commons

If you haven’t climbed your life-list peak yet, you are out of excuses: 44-year-old Scottish mountaineer Jamie Andrews just climbed the 14,692-foot Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps — and he climbed it without the advantage of having hands or feet.

Andrews’ cred doesn’t stop there, either. Both his hands and feet were amputated after he suffered severe frostbite while trapped in a blizzard for five days in the French Alps 15 years ago.   After years of physical therapy and training, Andrews ascended the Matterhorn for a British film crew. Here’s more from the UK’s Daily Mail:

He said: 'The Matterhorn is actually just the wrong kind of climbing for me. If it was a bit steeper I could get my arms on to the rock and climb quickly.  If it was less steep I could use my trekking poles and walk upright.

'As it is, I have to stumble from rock to rock, balancing as best I can, lunging with my arms to stop myself teetering back on my prosthetic legs.

'It’s back-breaking work. The terrain is incredibly broken and it is impossible for me to keep up any pace.
'But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in life it’s that bravery is not always about taking tough challenges, but about taking tough decisions.'

OK, so no more complaining about your tweaky knee or your achy back. Plan your dream climb of Denali, Mt. Rainier, or a Colorado 14er right the hell now.

Read more: Daily Mail

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