It sounds incredible but earlier this month Aaron Phipps, who lost the lower half of both of his legs to meningitis aged 15, managed to reach the top of #Kilimanjaro completely under his own steam.
For most of the ascent Mr Phipps used his wheelchair to ascend the mountain, but when the scree near the summit became too difficult for a wheelchair to negotiate, he was forced to crawl up on his hands and knees… for a total of nine hours! In doing so, he became one of the very few ‘wheelchair-bound’ people to reach the summit unaided (the first, incidentally, was South African Bern Goosen, back in 2007).
When Aaron is not climbing Africa’s highest mountain, he can be found playing rugby (he plays fo the Great Britain team) or undertaking similar fundraising events. He has already completed 2 London Marathons (2008 & 2009); in the latter he was ranked the 4th fastest UK Male.
But Kilimanjaro was his sternest challenge yet, and one that he didn’t undertake lightly. Indeed, when someone told him that the best way to acclimatise for the high altitudes that he’d face on Kilimanjaro was to stay at the summit of Mont Blanc for five days, he did just that! Aaron used as his trekking company the popular local outfitters Team Kilimanjaro, who also organised Bern Goosen’s pioneering climb (and Iain Fryatt’s successful wheelchair climb in 2014 too!)
To celebrate at the summit, Aaron proudly unfurled a poster designed by his daughter celebrating his success as advertising the Shaw Trust and Meningitis Trust – the two charities for which he was collecting.
You can read more about Aaron’s remarkable achievement at the following page: http://www.redbull.com/en/adventure/stories/1331797876405/this-man-crawled-up-mount-kilimanjaro
We do, of course, salute Mr Phipps’ on his remarkable achievement!