An ex-soldier defied the odds by climbing up Pendle Hill in Lancashire, dragging his wheelchair behind him in a long seven-hour challenge.
Former soldier, Kirk Mount (28), was left paralysed from the waist down after a routine operation to fix his back went wrong. However, the dad-of-two from Elizabeth Court, Padiham, refused to let his disability prevent him from doing the things he likes, and was determined to take on this challenge not only for himself, but in the hopes of inspiring other wheelchair users.
Kirk joined the Army at aged 18 and successfully served until 2012 with 40 Regiment. He needed surgery to pin cracked vertebrae in his back, but during his operation in 2014 his spinal cord was damaged and after spending another 16 hours in surgery, he was left paralysed from the waist down.
Despite his physical limitations, Kirk took on the gruelling seven-hour challenge to climb Pendle Hill, and his inspirational efforts were captured on video. The film of his astonishing feat has been viewed online more than 22,000 times, and since the event he has been inundated with messages of support from people all over the world.
After completing the challenge, Kirk explained that the climb was mainly done on his hands and knees and with the aid of two walking sticks. While he set out to challenge himself and to inspire others, he never expected the video of his feat to go viral.
In an interview with local press, Kirk Commented, “It’s amazing isn’t it for a small bloke from Burnley? It’s been shared across the pond, I’ve had messages from people in Niagara Falls and in New Zealand. People see the wheelchair, they don’t really see the person in the wheelchair and they discriminate against it. That’s why I went up Pendle dragging the wheelchair behind me. It’s a big part of my life but on the video you see me doing something, not necessarily the wheelchair.”
The determined and driven ex-Royal Artillery gunner said his mind is already on his next challenge, and with him already enjoying such activities as off-roading on Pendle Hill and wheelchair cliff diving, it is hard to know what exciting challenge this daredevil will take on next!
Kirk has proven that he is not afraid to take on a challenge, and since becoming paralysed he has still managed to master other hobbies like horse riding, archery, shooting, swimming, wood trekking and racing over beach sand dunes.
The decision to climb Pendle, where Kirk was supported by his girlfriend Lisa Holden, was made on the spur of the moment, and he said that with each step of his improvement, he will take on more challenging tasks. Pendle Hill came up in conversation, and he then decided he would get up to the top no matter what.
Kirk commented, “It was more crawling than walking and it was really slippery. I had to keep stopping for a rest. After two minutes I was ready to quit and I thought what the hell am I doing. But I carried on and I’m 100% glad I did it.”
He believes he will need a good couple of weeks of rest to recover fully from his exhausting climb, but that will give him enough time to think about what his next challenge is going to be.