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Major Phil Packer climbs El Capitan!

Major Phil Packer, a paraplegic British army officer injured in Iraq who earlier this year completed the London Marathon (2 miles a day, for 2 weeks), has successfully climbed El Capitan in Yosemite to raise more than £1 million for the charity Help for Heroes (the photo above is from my day trip [1, 2] this April).

Major Packer, 36, a Royal Military Police Officer, suffered catastrophic injuries during a rocket attack in Basra, Iraq in February 2008. His injuries included a bruised heart, damage to his ribs and chest, and the loss of motor and sensory use of his legs. He was told after the attack that he would never walk again.

The climb was 1800 feet (548.64 m) and lasted 5 days. For Major Packer, the climb was the equivalent of 4252 pull-ups. Other members of the climb team included Expedition Leader Andy Kirkpatrick (site includes movie of the El Capitan climb), Ian Parnell, and Paul Tattersall.

You can experience the El Capitan climb “tweet by tweet,” read all of the details on Phil Packer’s Web site, and watch the final moments of his triumphant climb on YouTube.

Congratulations, Major Packer! I am just glad that your triumph could happen in California.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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