Double amputee Army veteran Neil Heritage attempts Matterhorn climb - pic used on 020820 CREDIT Blesma.jpg
Veterans

Double Amputee Veteran To Reattempt Matterhorn Climb

Neil Heritage and his team are attempting to summit one of the highest peaks in Europe.

Double amputee Army veteran Neil Heritage attempts Matterhorn climb - pic used on 020820 CREDIT Blesma.jpg

A double amputee Army veteran is attempting to summit one of the highest mountains in Europe for the third time.

Neil Heritage is set to climb the Matterhorn - on the border of Switzerland and Italy - on Sunday.

If the 39-year-old veteran succeeds, he will be the first double above-knee amputee to complete the challenge.

"It was a last-minute decision on whether we actually went this year," Mr Heritage said before setting off.

"We were holding off to see what the COVID-19 restrictions allowed us to do. It was only four weeks ago that we started planning travel and putting everything together, but we always trained as if we were going," he explained.

Mr Heritage is a former corporal who was injured in 2004 following a suicide bomber attack in Iraq.

He attempted to summit Matterhorn in 2016 and 2018, but on both occasions he had to turn back.

In 2017, he also planned to take on the challenge but bad weather conditions meant it was postponed.

Double amputee Army veteran Neil Heritage attempts Matterhorn climb pic 2 - pic used on 020820 CREDIT Blesma._0.jpg
It is not the first time the Army veteran has attempted to summit the mountain (Picture: Blesma).

Several military charities, including Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, are backing Mr Heritage's challenge and have helped towards the funding of the 2020 expedition.

Jon Bryant, the Chief Executive of Blesma, said they are "delighted" to be supporting Mr Heritage's attempt.

"His determination to overcome all obstacles and achieve this feat is truly inspirational," Mr Bryant said.

The Army veteran said he is "feeling good" about this year's attempt.

"We have a bigger team coming out including six people from Veterans’ charity Climb2Recovery, so I certainly feel more confident.

"If the weather doesn’t work out for me, the chances are it might work out for some of the other guys. It takes the focus off me a little bit – which is always a good thing!"

Mr Heritage has completed many sporting challenges in the past, including triathlons and a 3,000-mile row across the Atlantic as part of the Row2Recovery team.

His team consists of 15 people, including six wounded, injured or sick veterans who are part of Climb2Recovery.

They have a two-week window to reach the summit of the mountain.

Cover image: Army veteran Neil Heritage (Picture: Blesma).