UKH

Berghaus ambassador reaches record height for climber with a spinal cord injury Press Release

© Beetle Campbell

Berghaus ambassador Ed Jackson has returned to the UK after a dramatic expedition to Himlung Himal, a remote Himalayan peak. While the 7,126m summit eluded Ed and his team, he reached a new record height of 6,800m for a climber with a spinal cord injury. However, the real drama occurred on the descent, leading to a night without shelter at 6,000m.

The Himlung Himal expedition team  © Beetle Campbell
The Himlung Himal expedition team
© Beetle Campbell
 

Ed Jackson set out for Himlung Himal in mid-March, aiming to be the first incomplete quadriplegic person to climb a 7,000m mountain. He was joined on the expedition by friend and trainer Arron Collins-Thomas and Ben Halms, who has also suffered a major spinal injury and is a beneficiary of the charity Millimetres 2 Mountains (M2M), which Ed founded to help other people who face similar challenges as him. The expedition was supported by Berghaus, and Ed and Ben used kit that was modified by the company, to help them climb despite their physical disabilities. After reaching basecamp and acclimatising, Ed, Ben, Arron and their local guides made good progress on the peak.

Himlung Himal has not been climbed for over two years and the glacier has changed considerably in that time. Among other complications, the team was unable to use the usual camp three location on the mountain, and had to push for the summit from camp two. They successfully reached 6,800m, but conditions from that height were deemed too unsafe, so the decision was made to retreat. The team descended to the shoulder of Himlung Himal at about 6,100m, to discover that conditions had deteriorated during their climb. The lead guide fell into a crevasse and had to be pulled back out by colleagues. Although shaken, he was relatively unhurt. However, the team was in a very dangerous situation and the decision was made to call for helicopter rescue, which was not possible until the following morning.

Ed Jackson (left) and Ben Halms on Himlung Himal  © Beetle Campbell
Ed Jackson (left) and Ben Halms on Himlung Himal
© Beetle Campbell
 

The climbers spent a night without tent, sleeping bags, food or water, in temperatures that dipped below -20 degrees Centigrade. The insulated Berghaus clothing that Ed, Ben, Arron and team were using proved to be vital during the night, and everyone was evacuated from the mountain by helicopter when daylight came. Ed, Ben and Arron have now flown back to the UK.

Ed Jackson comments: "Every spinal cord injury is different and although Ben and I still live with many of the complications that come with that, we feel very lucky to even be in a position to attempt this kind of challenge. There was no road map for living and operating at these heights with our injuries and much of what we were doing was trial and error, in order to hopefully pave a way for others in the future.

"When you take on pursuits like this you have to accept that unprecedented situations can happen in the mountains - the dangers out there are real. It doesn't matter who you are or how well you prepare, Mother Nature can intervene. But that element of risk is what makes the whole process feel so alive. Yes, it was scary, but I have shared a special experience with some amazing human beings and I don't regret any of that. It just makes me appreciate everything else so much more. My respect for the high mountains and the people who live in those regions has never been greater."

The view from high on Himlung Himal  © Beetle Campbell
The view from high on Himlung Himal
© Beetle Campbell

Ben Halms adds: "This was more than just an expedition for me, it has given me something to focus on and to work towards during a difficult time. It has given me hope. The expedition itself has been mind-blowing, allowing me the time and freedom to get in my own head and think about my future. Not only have I exceeded other people's expectations, I have exceeded my own. More than that, I've made friends and memories for life."

The Himlung Himal expedition was filmed for a short documentary, which will be released later this year. For more from the trip, follow Ed Jackson at https://www.instagram.com/edjackson8. To find out about Millimetres 2 Mountains and make a donation, visit www.millimetres2mountains.org.

For further information about Berghaus, visit www.berghaus.com

Ed Jackson on Himlung Himal   © Beetle Campbell
Ed Jackson on Himlung Himal
© Beetle Campbell

 

For more information visit the Berghaus website


Support UKH

As climbers we strive to make UKHillwalking the kind of website we would love to visit, with the most up-to-date news, diverse and interesting articles, comprehensive gear reviews, breathtaking photographs and a vast and useful logbook system. As a result, an incredible community has formed around the site - we’ve provided the framework but it’s you who make the website what it is today. If you appreciate the content we offer then you can help us by becoming an official UKH Supporter. This can be a one-off single annual payment or a more substantial payment paid monthly or yearly which includes full access to Rockfax Digital and discounts on Rockfax print publications.

If you appreciate UKHillwalking then please help us by becoming a UKH Supporter.

UKH Supporter

  • Support the website we all know and love
  • Access to a year's subscription to Rockfax Digital.
  • Plus 30% off Rockfax guidebooks
  • Plus Show your support UKH porter badge on your profile and forum posts
UKC/UKH/Rockfax logo

Product News at UKH presents climbing, walking and mountaineering equipment posts that will be of interest to our readers. Please feel free to comment about the post and products on the associated thread.
Loading Notifications...
Facebook Twitter Copy Email LinkedIn Pinterest