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War hero Terry prepares for -50°C alaska challenge

06 July 2016

A war hero from Essex is preparing to battle temperatures of -50°C as he scales the highest peak in North America as part of a world record attempt.

Amputee Terry Byrne, a former paratrooper from Colchester, is part of a small team hoping to become the first disabled group to successfully complete the notorious Explorers Grand Slam.

To enter the record books, the trio must scale the highest peaks in seven continents, as well as walking to the North and South Pole unaided.

The latest leg of the challenge will see Terry his teammates fly to Alaska to scale Denali, a highly technical 6,190 metre climb.

Terry is due to leave for two-and-a-half weeks on May 21.

Terry, an assistant site manager at Persimmon Homes Essex, said: “This is going to be the hardest climb so far. It’s -50°C at the summit so we’re praying for good weather.”

“It’s a very technical climb with a lot of long traversing to do. That is the one thing I hate because it’s hard work with my artificial leg.”

“But I’m really looking forward to the challenge. There are four of us going and it’s a really pretty mountain. It’s going to be a very hard couple of weeks but I’m confident we can make it to the top.”

The other members of the team have already completed the Denali part of the Explorers Grand Slam but Terry still needs to tick it off his list as he was competing with the British Cycling Team at the time.

Terry and the team have already scaled Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Elbrus, the highest peaks in Africa and Europe.

Unfortunately Terry will have to visit Argentina for a second time to scale Aconcagua as horrendous weather last year meant the team were forced to abandon their climb about two hours from the summit.

Terry had to have part of his leg amputated after he stood on an improvised explosive device while serving with the Parachute Regiment in Afghanistan in 2008.

He retrained and is now assistant site manager at Persimmon Homwa, which is building right across Essex, from Little Dunmow to Colchester, East Tilbury to Frinton-on-Sea.

Philip Standen, manging director at Persimmon Homes Essex, said: “What Terry is trying to achieve is an inspiration to us all. He’s a very determined man which shines through in his work on site.

“We wish him all the best in this latest challenge.”

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