Blind British man climbs Europe’s highest mountain – BBC News

A 23-year-old is thought to have become the first blind British man to reach the summit of Europe’s highest mountain.

Jack Garner faced winds of more than 50mph, -37C wind chill and a longer stay than usual on Mount Elbrus due to extreme weather conditions.

In 2007, at the age of 11, Jack, from Scunthorpe, lost his sight over the course of a few months due to a genetic condition.

It was “traumatic”, he says, but he was a sporty boy and challenges helped him cope, so he set his sights on Elbrus – all 5,642m of it.

Jack got involved seriously in mountaineering in 2015. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro over a six-day trip. Then in 2016 he took part in an 11-day Everest base camp trek.

Eventually, in 2018, he decided to take on Mount Elbrus.

“My parents were concerned when I told them what I was going to do,” he said.

Elbrus is known to be a particularly technical and challenging climb, but Jack has always been a thrill seeker – completing sky dives and bungee jumps to raise money for charity – so he was undaunted.

Eight days

He reached the summit with four other climbers and two guides from the company Adventure Peaks.

In total, he spent eight exhausting days on the mountain.

“It was my first time walking on snow and ice. It took a bit of getting used to,” he said.

He learned the basics from guide Paul Etheridge – how to use crampons as well as an ice axe.

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