Poole amputee soldier makes history on Matterhorn summit

Neil Heritage (second left) at the summit of the MatterhornImage source, Mark Hooks
Image caption,
Neil Heritage (second left) reached the summit with supporters on Friday

A former soldier has become the first above-the-knee double amputee to scale the Matterhorn.

Neil Heritage, 39, from Poole, Dorset, reached the peak of the mountain on the Swiss-Italian border with supporters on his third attempt in three years.

The ex-corporal, who lost his legs to a suicide bomb in Iraq in 2004, said he was "over the moon".

Mr Heritage, who runs a charity for injured veterans, is planning to kayak the Amazon river in 2021.

Image source, Endeavour Fund
Image caption,
Mr Heritage had specially-designed prosthetic limbs for the climb

His two previous attempts to conquer the 4,478m (14,692ft) Alpine peak were foiled by bad weather.

His co-climber Mark Hooks said: "It was just so special, managing to achieve something we've worked so hard on over the years."

Mr Hooks said his friend's specially-designed prosthetic limb fell off near the summit and took more than 20 minutes to reattach.

In a Facebook video, posted from a mountain hut on the descent, he said Mr Heritage was "absolutely blitzed" and too exhausted to speak.

Since losing his legs, Mr Heritage has completed triathlons, learned to ski and rowed across the Atlantic Ocean in the Row2Recovery team.

The Matterhorn ascent has raised more than £6,000 for Mr Heritage's charity Climb 2 Recovery.

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