As we’re sure you’re all aware, Neil wasn’t able to reach the summit.
That being said, it’s the most successful attempt to date.
Before last year’s attempt, we started working with a new team of guides. Unfortunately, last year, Mother Nature prevented us from even stepping foot on the mountain.
This year though, we’ve established strong relationships and a real understanding of abilities between the guides and the other members of the team. All the preparation and success to reach 3,800m was flawless. If the weather had played its part, there’s little doubt whatsoever that Neil would, should and could’ve reached the summit.
We all know what happened next.
This led to the team putting the extraction plan into action, which we expected to take two days minimum. Surprisingly though, we achieved it in one day. This was down to the organisational skills of the guides and Neil’s tenacity, grit and willpower. Once down to the Abruzzi Hut, we all enjoyed a well-deserved bed for the night.
The following morning, we met for a debriefing to discuss accomplishments. We decided that each member of the team would spend the next few weeks reflecting on this year’s attempt before putting forward their suggestions moving forward.
There are two main things to think about:
1. Is it practical for Neil to safely summit the Matterhorn within usual timescales available?
2. Is this something Neil’s willing to continue to endure?
Obviously, the second point is a personal decision for Neil to make.
We’re going to finish this post by congratulating Neil.
Firstly, for the effort he’s put into organising everything leading up to the climb.
And also, because the sheer pain he’s put his body through in training and for the 30+ hours ascending and descending the mountain is staggering. For those that don’t personally know Neil, he does all of this without complaint or excuse.
The man is a warrior on so many fronts and it’s a pleasure to call him a friend. Neil, you do so much for others when you have so many reasons to be inwardly focused.
Whatever decision you make moving forward, please be proud of all you’ve achieved.
From the moment that first doctor informed you that you’ll never walk again. Through to proving them wrong, rowing the Atlantic, qualifying as a fitness instructor to help able-bodied people stay fit and healthy, setting up charities to help others, and finally showing other injured people that there is actually life after injury.
Hold your head high and continue to grip life by the throat showing it who’s in charge.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for being the person you are.
Love from all the lives you have and will continue to touch.