An amputee who can only walk for 20 minutes at a time has climbed England’s three highest peaks—a feat that took him 27 hours.
42-year-old Ben Lovell had never climbed a mountain—and in 2017 he had to have his right leg amputated due to a blood clot.
These days the strain on his leg means he can walk 20 minutes, covering about a mile, before he has to take off his prosthetic and rest before climbing again.
But the former road worker scaled the Lake District’s Helvellyn in seven hours, Scafell in nine hours, and Scafell Pike after another 11 hours of trekking.
The father-of-two raised thousands of pounds to pay for kids with prosthetic limbs to join his fitness boot camp and holiday retreat in Tenerife, called AmpCamp.
The Yorkshire man said: “It’s never about how long it takes me; it’s just about getting it done.
“Helvellyn was really hard and pretty scary because we lost the track and ended up climbing the side of the peak.
“I was in a lot of pain but that’s a mental thing and you’ve just got to get past it.”
Of walking on boggy ground, he explained: “It puts such a strain on your other joints and other leg, and using crutches, which I have to do, is really hard on your back and shoulders.”
After Ben’s amputation four years ago, he suffered anxiety and depression, but now goes to the gym five or six times a week.
In the past few years, he’s completed a sponsored 13-mile walk round a reservoir on crutches and a 15,000-foot parachute jump.
The reason he founded AmpCamp? “With these holidays we just want to give people a place to go where they can feel safe and confident, and where they can relax without stigma, and if you need to take your leg off for a bit everyone understands.”