A former soldier who lost his legs in an explosion in Iraq is today (Sun) aiming to become the first ever above the knee double amputee to scale the Matterhorn.
Neil Heritage, 35, wants to conquer the deadly 4,478m high mountain using two types of specially-designed prosthetic limbs that let him climb on both rock and ice,
He is making the attempt despite being told by doctors he would never walk again.
Neil sets off today (Sun) for the summit, which lies on the border between Italy and Switzerland in the Alps and should reach it by Wednesday.
He is alongside fellow former soldiers Steve Green and Mark Hooks for a gruelling three day climb.
The ex-corporal, from Poole, Dorset, became the first British soldier to survive an above the knee double amputation in 2004 after being blown up by a suicide bomber in Basra, Iraq.
Since losing his legs, Neil defied medical opinion as he completed triathlons, learned to ski and rowed across the Atlantic Ocean in the Row2Recovery team, even though he has not received a penny of compensation for his life-changing injuries.
Speaking before his extraordinary climb, Neil said: “In the first few years post injury the idea of walking and leading a normal life seemed out of reach.
“Now being able to attempt this challenge makes me realise how far things have come.
“I hope it encourages others dealing with physical and mental injuries to follow their dreams and realise there is life beyond injury,”
The Matterhorn, also known as the Mountain of Mountains, is one of the deadliest mountains in the world, with an average of around 12 deaths every year from 300 attempts.
The climb was supported by the Endeavour Fund, which supports the recovery of wounded, injured and sick Service Personnel and Veterans using sport and adventurous challenges as part of their recovery.