Derby

Derbyshire climber who uses colostomy bag to lead Himalayas trip

British mountaineer Mick Fowler Image copyright PA
Image caption British mountaineer Mick Fowler first climbed mountains in the Himalayas in 1987

A British mountaineer who has a colostomy bag is set to lead a "major" Himalayan expedition next month.

Mick Fowler, 62, from Derbyshire, will attempt to scale a 6,000m (19,685ft) peak in the mountain range that has not been climbed before.

After he was diagnosed with anal cancer in 2017, Mr Fowler doubted whether he would return to the Himalayas.

The climber said the trip would be the first major Himalayan expedition led by someone who uses a colostomy bag.

Mr Fowler wants to test how the colostomy bag performs at high altitude to help others in the future.

The mountaineer, who has been scaling mountains in the Himalayas since 1987, had to have an ostomy - a procedure to redirect the bowel to an exit through an opening in the abdomen wall.

Image copyright PA
Image caption British mountaineer Mick Fowler (right) with Vic Saunders (left)

Mr Fowler said: "My cancer diagnosis was an unwelcome interruption to plans and there were times during my treatment when I doubted whether I would be able to return to the Himalayas.

"So I am looking forward to this trip with even more anticipation than usual."

His cancer diagnosis halted plans he had with climbing partner Vic Saunders to attempt a Himalayan expedition in 2017.

He added: "This trip involves the added dimension of me now being an ostomate and I am looking for a solution to the 'colostomy bag at altitude' conundrum which will help other mountaineers who need to use this kind of kit to continue their climbing adventures."

In 2016, Mr Fowler and Mr Saunders completed an ascent of the north face of Sersank, a mountain in the Indian Himalayas, almost 30 years after they last climbed together.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mick Fowler hopes his experiences using a colostomy bag will help others

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