Matterhorn Success for Quadruple Amputee Jamie Andrew

© Al Matthewson

Scottish climber and quadruple amputee Jamie Andrew has succeeded in his ambition to summit the Matterhorn (4,478m) via the Northeast (Hornli) Ridge (AD)​ in Switzerland. Jamie had previously attempted the route in 2013, reaching 250m below the summit before being forced to turn back due to lack of time.

Happy to have found a weather window!  © Al Matthewson
Happy to have found a weather window!
© Al Matthewson

Climbing with two guides and using specially-made prostheses and poles, Jamie's ascent and return to the base took 13 hours in total on 4th August and he is believed to be the first quadruple amputee to summit the mountain. 

The climb took five years of careful planning and preparation. Speaking to the BBC in a news report, Jamie commented: "I take the attitude that the more well-prepared you are, the more you can lessen the risks you face. I am married, and a father of three, and my biggest priority is to get off the mountain safely - getting to the summit is a bonus."

Caught in a storm with winds of 90mph and temperatures of -30°C on the North Face of the Droites, Mont Blanc Massif, in 1999, Jamie developed frostbite in his limbs after four nights of exposure. His climbing partner Jamie Fisher did not survive, but Jamie was airlifted to safety, only to have his hands and feet amputated to prevent septic shock. Jamie has been inspiring others and pushing his boundaries with ambitious goals, charity work and motivational speaking and writing ever since.

Earlier this summer, Jamie attempted a traverse of the Cuillin Ridge, Isle of Skye, which was interrupted as he and his fellow climbers became involved in the rescue of another party on the route. (UKC News Report)

Writing on his Facebook Page, Jamie summed up his latest climb:

'Yesterday's dream ascent of The Matterhorn. 5am start. Summited at 11am. Down at 5.30pm. Storm arrived at 7pm. A fantastic day with the best company.'

Jamie's ascent and descent of the Matterhorn were made shortly before two British climbers tragically became caught up in the storm on the other side of the exposed peak at 4,000m, succumbing to the cold before being discovered by rescuers two days later. (BBC News Report)

Interview with Jamie to follow on UKC.

Visit Jamie's website.

Jamie is sponsored by: Black Diamond, Marmot and Walsh

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9 Aug, 2016
I sometimes work with amputee's (normally single limb) and see how everyday tasks and mobility (street level) can be challenging, so I cannot comprehend how difficult this must have been as a quadruple amputee to summit the Matterhorn. Amazing, and just a fantastic effort Jamie Andrew.
9 Aug, 2016
I remember watching the documentary on his previous unsuccessful attempt. I was completely gutted for him that they didn't summit. You coiuld just see the anguish on his face as the turn-around point drew closer and closer. Never did I think he'd have another crack at it! So this article has really made my day. Inspiring stuff
9 Aug, 2016
9 Aug, 2016
Yes, absolutely... another utterly inspirational chapter in an utterly (uniquely?) inspirational life story!
11 Aug, 2016
Wow, amazing achievement. 13 hours is an incredible time all things considered (Not sure I'd be that fast!)
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