In April 2022, double amputee Paul Ellis became the first person to successfully crawl the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, supported by Cotswold Outdoor. This was the second of his three peaks, having crawled up Snowdon back in August 2021 in just 13 hours. Paul plans to crawl Scafell Pike to round off the challenge to help raise funds and awareness for AmpCamp Kids’ amputee holiday fund. So far, Paul and his team have raised over £35,000, but they don’t plan to stop there.
Learn more about what it’s taken for Paul to achieve these incredible challenges, how to donate to AmpCamp Kids and how he plans to tackle the final instalment of his Three Peaks crawling challenge.
I had been walking with a group for a while and was looking to use the mountains as somewhere to take on an extra special challenge. I jested I could crawl Snowdon, and when I put it to the group, they said I had to give it a go. Crawling Snowdon gave me an immense sense of achievement on a beautiful August bank holiday in 2021. Since then, I’ve made it my goal to complete all three of the UK’s highest peaks on hands and knees.
Naturally, it’s more physically demanding for an amputee to enjoy some outdoor pursuits. It can also be harder in colder conditions as circulation can be an issue for some amputees. Some of my friends really suffer with circulation issues and have to stop every so often to rest and flex the stump to get the blood pumping again. For me, I need to stop every so often to lubricate my stumps, so I always keep Vaseline close by in my rucksack.
The toughest thing was probably the mental challenge. I’ve learned and become accustomed to pushing my body to extremes and having to work through pain barriers, but I think around halfway, it started becoming more of a mental fight. The team really had to get behind me and give me a pep talk around the three quarters point as I had slowed a lot and looked physically drained. The other most challenging factor was not having enough daylight hours!
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