Press Releases

Date 28-04-03

Wheelchair Explorer Glenn Shaw Sets Out For Mount Everest

25.04.2003. London. On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the first ascent of Everest, disabled explorer Glenn Shaw is preparing to set out for the slopes of the world's highest mountain.

Glenn and his team are aiming to reach Base Camp at an altitude of 17,000ft (5200m) on the north side of Everest on May 29th 2003 - exactly 50 years to the day since Hillary and Tenzing reached the summit.

Glenn has a medical condition that is known as 'Brittle Bones'. He knows that the slightest knock can result in a broken limb. A simple fall might kill him outright. But Glenn is an explorer, and treats his physical disability as simply one more obstacle to overcome.

Glenn's first expedition to reach Mount Everest in 1997 ended in near-disaster when Glenn and a Sherpa slipped and fell at an altitude of 13,000 feet (3900m). Only Glenn's considerable upper body strength prevented both men from going over the edge of a precipice. However, during the self-rescue Glenn broke his legs in eight places which forced him to abandon his first attempt to reach his favourite mountain. Undaunted, Glenn is now making final preparations for his second attempt.

"I feel that my expedition is a fitting tribute to Hillary and Tenzing during the 50th anniversary celebrations," explained Glenn. "I won't get to the top of Everest, but this will be my personal summit."

Glenn and his team will be setting out for Everest on May 13th. After arriving in the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu, the expedition will fly past Everest on their way to the historic city of Lhasa in Tibet. They will then travel overland to the Buddhist monastery at Rongbuk, which was visited by all the British Everest expeditions of the 1920s and 30s. After receiving a blessing from the resident monks, Glenn will attempt to wheel himself to Base Camp in a unique Swiss-built 'Everest Wheelchair' which has been constructed by Invacare/Küschall to Glenn's specifications.

The Glenn Shaw Mount Everest Expedition 2003 will be celebrating the European Year of People with Disabilities 2003. In addition, the team are aiming to raise funds and awareness to support The Backup Trust, a national charity which helps those paralysed through spinal injury pursue an active life.

A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Glenn is a past recipient of a ski scholarship from the American National Sports Centre For The Disabled. In 2001, he was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship, which enabled him to undertake a voyage by sea kayak around part of the Antarctic coastline. Glenn has also worked with Brunel University's Research and Development Team to develop kayaking equipment for fellow disabled explorers.

Glenn Shaw 07880 507263, email:
Steven Day 07931 777777, email:

Notes: See for high resolution photography, biography, sponsors and details of the expedition.

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