Scottish climber and quadruple amputee Jamie Andrew has succeeded in his ambition to summit the Matterhorn (4,478m) via the North-East (Hornli) Ridge in Switzerland. Jamie had previously attempted the route in 2013, reaching 250m below the summit before being forced to turn back due to lack of time.
Climbing with two guides and using specially-made prostheses and poles, Jamie's ascent and return to the base took 13 hours in total on 4th August and he is believed to be the first quadruple amputee to summit the mountain.
The climb took five years of careful planning and preparation. Speaking to the BBC in a news report, Jamie commented: "I take the attitude that the more well-prepared you are, the more you can lessen the risks you face. I am married, and a father of three, and my biggest priority is to get off the mountain safely - getting to the summit is a bonus."
Caught in a storm with winds of 90mph and temperatures of -30°C on the North Face of the Droites, Mont Blanc Massif, in 1999, Jamie developed frostbite in his limbs after four nights of exposure. His climbing partner Jamie Fisher did not survive, but Jamie was airlifted to safety, only to have his hands and feet amputated to prevent septic shock. Jamie has been inspiring others and pushing his boundaries with ambitious goals, charity work and motivational speaking and writing ever since.
Earlier this summer, Jamie attempted a traverse of the Cuillin Ridge, Isle of Skye, which was interrupted as he and his fellow climbers became involved in the rescue of another party on the route. (UKC News Report)
Writing on his Facebook Page, Jamie summed up his latest climb:
'Yesterday's dream ascent of The Matterhorn. 5am start. Summited at 11am. Down at 5.30pm. Storm arrived at 7pm. A fantastic day with the best company.'
Jamie's ascent and descent of the Matterhorn were made shortly before two British climbers tragically became caught up in the storm on the other side of the exposed peak at 4,000m, succumbing to the cold before being discovered by rescuers two days later. (BBC News Report)
Interview with Jamie to follow on UKC.
Visit Jamie's website.