DISABLED EXPLORER MARTIN HEWITT SUMMITS MOUNT VINSON AFTER A 50-DAY TREK TO THE SOUTH POLE
SUCCESSFULLY CLIMBING THE HIGHEST PEAK IN ANTARCTICA, JUST DAYS AFTER REACHING THE SOUTH POLE, MARKS THE PENULTIMATE STEP IN HEWITT’S MISSION TO BECOME THE FIRST DISABLED PERSON TO COMPLETE THE EXPLORERS GRAND SLAM.
● Hewitt, along with record-breaking polar explorer Louis Rudd (Director of Expeditions at Shackleton), successfully summited Mount Vinson (4,892m) in 3 days
● Just days before, Hewitt and Rudd reached the South Pole after skiing over 650km in 50 days, overcoming adverse weather and injury along the way
● Reaching the South Pole and climbing Mount Vinson is the penultimate phase of the AGS (Adaptive Grand Slam) – Hewitt’s mission to climb the highest peak on every continent and to reach both poles
● Hewitt is taking on the AGS to inspire others with life-long injuries and disabilities to achieve their potential
● Hewitt sustained a life-changing injury during military service with the Parachute Regiment, resulting in paralysis of his right arm
(January 14, 2022 – Union Glacier, Antarctica):
Martin Hewitt, founder of accessible exploring charity Adaptive Grand Slam (AGS), and Louis Rudd MBE, Director of Expeditions at Shackleton, have successfully summited Mount Vinson – the highest peak in Antarctica – following a 50-day unsupported and unassisted trek to the South Pole. Now that he’s ascended Mount Vinson (standing at 4,892m) and reached the South Pole, Hewitt is just one summit away from achieving his goal of becoming the first person with a disability to complete the Adaptive Grand Slam – an adaptation of the infamous Explorers Grand Slam.
The Adaptive Grand Slam has so far seen Hewitt and a team of disabled adventurers overcome adversity to summit the tallest peaks on every continent and trek to both Poles, with the aim of inspiring others with life-long injuries and disabilities to achieve their potential. Hewitt has been fundraising for the AGS Foundation, which was established to select, train, develop and empower disabled teams to tackle extreme expeditions and challenges, including Mount Everest, supported by professional expedition and challenge leaders.
On this penultimate AGS challenge, Hewitt and Rudd initially set off to reach the South Pole from the land edge of Antarctica – a total distance of 1,000km unsupported and unassisted. While trekking and dragging a 95kg pulk, Hewitt suffered a debilitating achilles tendon injury, which forced the pair to alter their original plan and seek medical attention at Union Glacier. Overcoming adversity and injury, Hewitt and Rudd resumed their challenge, trekking to the Pole from the ‘Last Degree’ – the 60 nautical miles that mark the last latitude of distance to the South Pole from 89° South. In total, the pair skied more than 650 km in 50 days.
During the Antarctica endeavour, Hewitt was supported by British Expedition apparel and travel brand, Shackleton. To accomplish the gruelling challenge and withstand one of the coldest climates on Earth, the team used Shackleton’s Expedition Pulk Suit, specifically designed to protect them from temperatures that routinely reach -40°.
The Adaptive Antarctica Expedition is also supported by Olympian Homes, Round Hill Capital, TSP Ventures and Blesma, the Limbless Veterans charity that Martin is a member of. The mission aims to raise funds for the AGS Foundation to enable others with a registered disability to take part in their own extreme challenge supported by professional expedition leaders, in order to help members of the disabled community regain confidence, independence and meaningful occupation.