An amputee army veteran has completed one of the UK’s most difficult rock climbs after clambering up a 200m (650ft) cliff – despite only having one leg.
Andrew ‘Speedy’ Speed, 44, put his rock climbing skills to the ultimate test when he decided to climb Cornwall’s famous ‘Commando Ridge’.
On June 23 the veteran, who served for over 28 years in the 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment, set off with a team to climb the huge cliff on his prosthetic leg.
He negotiated the Atlantic tides, vertical walls of rock, tremendous drops and unwelcoming seagulls to achieve his goal of finishing his difficult ascent.
He climbed alongside several other veterans with Climb2Recovery, a charity specialising in helping veterans to recover their mental and physical health through rock climbing.
Fraser Day – Climb 2 Recovery’s regional coordinator for South West and Wales said “I’ve been really impressed with Speedy’s progression into climbing and it’s great to see his ongoing recovery.
“Commando Ridge is a tough climb even for an able-bodied climber and it shows what guts and determination he has to overcome his disability.”
Speedy sustained an injury to his leg in 2012 and underwent 12 operations in seven years to attempt to repair his injury.
In 2019, he made the difficult decision to have an elective surgery to amputate his right leg below the knee.
He got in touch with Climb 2 Recovery and threw himself into the hobby – saying “I found myself in the Peak District on the side of a cliff!”
He added: “It was a bit of a baptism of fire at first, getting used to what leg does what and on what surface.”
Having acquired his rock climbing skills and found climbing partners through the charity, Speedy felt ready to tackle the climb.
It is legendary amongst rock climbers for being one of the longest climbs of its kind in the UK – but was no match for Speedy who completed it with ease.
For more information on Climb 2 Recovery, visit: https://www.c2r.org/