Quadruple Amputee Reaches the Top of the Matterhorn

Mountaineer Jamie Andrew lost his hands and feet to frostbite after becoming trapped in a snowstorm in France 17 years ago.

| 09.08.16 | 05:03
Quadruple Amputee Reaches the Top of the Matterhorn
Briton Jamie Andrew, 47,  has claimed he is first quadruple amputee to climb the challenging Swiss Matterhorn peak.

The claim was backed by the warden of the Hoernli Hut base camp, who said he knew of no other quadruple amputee who had achieved the feat.

Andrew spent five years training until he was able to conquer the 4,478-metre alpine summit last Thursday with two seasoned guides.
After losing his limbs, Andrew had to learn to walk again and eventually took up skiing and long-distance running before returning to his first passion — mountaineering.

He was able to ascend much of the way toward the peak with the help of robust prostheses and specially adapted poles. He used what remains of his arms to hold onto the rope when climbing.

It took Andrew almost 13 hours to reach the summit and return to the base camp — about five hours longer than most climbers.
He said: “Climbing the Matterhorn is a dream come true. When I tried the first time in 2013 it was just so hard and I reached 4,200m before turning back. I thought then that I would never do it, but I persevered, I trained hard, I worked on developing new techniques for climbing without hands and feet, and I waited patiently for the conditions to be right.

“In the end I was delighted with our progress and we made the summit in really good time. It was one of the most memorable experiences of my life.”
Kurt Lauber, a Swiss mountain guide, applauded the achievement, but cautioned against underestimating the Matterhorn. He noted that Andrew’s team narrowly missed a bout of bad weather which killed two Britons climbing on the Italian side of the mountain.
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