Brit soldier who lost both legs in Iraq makes history by conquering Matterhorn

A former soldier has become the first above-the-knee double ­amputee to conquer the Matterhorn.

Neil Heritage, 39, lost his legs after a suicide bombing in Iraq in 2004.

But the determined former corporal worked hard in a lengthy rehabilitation and adapted to his prosthetic limbs.

He has completed triathlons, learned to scuba dive and ski, and completed a 3,000-mile row across the Atlantic.

And he has now reached summit of the 14,692ft peak in the Alps – one of the most dangerous in the world.

Speaking during his descent, he said: “It was a challenge. It’s been a dream for a long time.”

Neil made it up the near-vertical mountainside in three days, reaching the peak at lunchtime on Friday.

He tried the climb in 2016 and 2018 but had to turn back due to poor weather.

Neil, from Poole, Dorset, said it was a “last-minute” decision to try this year, due to Covid-19, and they only started planning a month ago. His 15-strong team included six wounded, injured or sick veterans who are part of the charity he set up, Climb 2 Recovery.

Support team member Mac Mackay, part of the British Mountain Guides, said Neil was inspirational.

He said: “He has had attempts before but the reason he didn’t succeed wasn’t anything to do with his climbing. We ran out of good weather and had to return.

“This year, we had the most stable six or seven days the Alps has had for a long time. It takes him a lot longer to climb than another person. He is putting his prosthetics through great stress. He’s such a positive person. He copes with everything.”

Al Jundi

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