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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 October, 2003, 04:34 GMT 05:34 UK
Disabled climber tackles Everest
Everest
Everest can be a fearsome climb
A disabled British adventurer is planning an assault on Everest despite nearly losing his life on a previous attempt.

Glenn Shaw will use a specially-built bike to ascend the north face of the world's highest mountain, within 9,000 ft of the summit.

He leaves for Kathmandu on Tuesday after extensive training and preparation in Britain.

He told the BBC's World Today programme that his vehicle would be up to the ascent.

"Think of a mountain bike with a wheelchair on the back of it. It's a trike - it's designed to go over any terrain from mud, to water, to shale, to inclines, to declines.

"I'm actually part of it so I sit very low with a very low centre of gravity and with a harness to hold me in."

A team of fellow adventurers will lend their support on the most treacherous parts of the mountain.

"Everest on the north face is not a gentle slope but it is a slope and it is one that we can actually go up.

"We won't be able to attain the summit because that's impossible with my own capabilities but I can attain a personal summit of 20,000ft.

"Coming down is often more difficult than going up because you've got gravity and you've also got the problem of the ground being not terribly stable underfoot."

Opportune time

Mr Shaw said his previous brush with death which saw him break a number of bones had not put him off.

"My last visit was on the south side of Everest in 1997. I was involved in an accident which nearly ended my life.

"But this year we are going on the north face. We are all well trained. Now is the opportune time to give it a go."

And he said he hoped other disabled people could use versions of his equipment to achieve their own personal goals.

"Everything we've done with this trip has been groundbreaking from the wheelchair to some of the clothing.

"We are not saying go to Everest, but we are saying there is a great deal of the world out there that we hope you can enjoy. It opens a world of possibilities and doors."




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