Disabled Vet Tackles the Matterhorn

Lauren Wood

Disabled Army veteran Neil Heritage lost both legs in a suicide bombing attack in 2004. Since, he's gone on to ski and complete triathlons. Now, in a third attempt, he became the first double-amputee to scale the Matterhorn while simultaneously raising 6,500 Euros for a veteran's charity. "It's been a dream of mine for a long time.” Heritage shared after completing the grueling climb. Co-climber Mark Hooks was key to Heritage's success. "It was just so special, managing to achieve something we’ve worked so hard on over the years”.

The climb wasn't without incident. Heritage lost a prosthetic limb near the summit, it took nearly 20 minutes to reattach. "There was a bit of a traffic jam at the top of the Matterhorn at the time, there were people clambering over,” Hooks told of the fiasco.

“One of the guides came across as Neil was sat on the side of the mountain – that was a good 20-to-30 minute ordeal. We got it [the prosthetic] back on and made the summit. It was tough getting down after all the effort and elation of getting to the top, then the hard work starts.”

After two previously unsuccessful attempts to reach the top the successful climb was an emotional success for the men. "The previous two times was why it was so emotional. Three years of hard work.” they shared in late August after completing the feat.

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