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Achievement On Mt Everest An Inspiration To All

22 May 2006

Mark Inglis Achievement On Mt Everest An Inspiration To All

Mark Inglis has provided inspiration to all after becoming the first double amputee to climb to the top of Mt Everest.

The 47-year-old Marlborough mountaineer has always regarded disabled people as "having not a lack of ability, just a different opportunity".

He believes those with disabilities should never limit their ambitions, and backs this with a remarkable outlook on life.

Almost 24 years ago Mark survived a life-threatening episode on the Southern Alps. He lost both his legs below the knees due to frostbite after being trapped in an ice cave for 14 days.

Inglis was a search and rescue mountaineer in the Mt Cook National Park when he became trapped in a storm. But this set-back did nothing to deter his amazing spirit and determination to succeed.

He went from legless mountaineer and ski guide to a research scientist after graduating with a first class honours degree in human biochemistry.

Inglis was the first double amputee to reach the summit of Mt Cook and followed this by conquering the summit of Mt Cho Oyu in Tibet, the world's sixth highest mountain.

He also won a silver medal for cycling in the 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games.

In 2003 Inglis was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to disabled people.

The latest achievement in climbing Mt Everest has made the New Zealander world famous.

Inglis reached the summit of the world's highest mountain in spite of breaking one of his carbon fibre artificial legs on the ascent and suffering from laryngitis which almost left him speechless.

Fortunately Inglis was equipped with spare legs and parts, and was able to replace the damaged artificial leg before continuing the difficult climb.

Mark had always wanted to stand on the roof of the world, but following the 1982 tragedy at Mt Cook thought he had lost that opportunity. He soon changed his mind and became determined to climb the highest peak on earth.

The lure of the outdoors is just one reason Mark Inglis has driven a Suzuki Grand Vitara for several years.

He likes the versatility of the Grand Vitara and its dual range four-wheel-drive system which provides special off-road ability.

Inglis says the Grand Vitara unlocks the key to exploring the great outdoors where he spends so much of his life.

He finds he can carry all the equipment he needs in the Suzuki and is impressed by the vehicle's capabilities both on and off-road. In recent years Inglis has driven several Grand Vitara models as long-term vehicles.

ENDS

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