British veteran becomes first double above knee amputee to climb Kilimanjaro

A British veteran has become the first double above knee amputee to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

After watching Extreme Everest, featuring ex-soldier Ant Middleton, James Rose was inspired to set himself his own challenge, in aid of Help for Heroes and the Royal British Legion.

“I really just wanted to raise awareness of mental health and raise money for Help the Heroes and the Royal British Legion as well,” James explains.

“But I also just wanted to challenge myself. After watching Extreme Everest, I posted about it on Facebook. My friend saw it and suggested we climb Kilimanjaro. I was going along with it thinking he was messing about. Two months down the line he’d put plans in place, so I had to get serious about it.”


James joined the Armed Forces in 2008 and was sent to Afghanistan in 2009. Not long after his deployment, he stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Completing the climb would make him the first double above knee amputee to do so, unaided.

“Reaching the summit was quite overwhelming really,” James continues. “Before I got there, I broke down twice and in my own head I’d given in. But, I sat there for 20 minutes and reminded myself why we were doing the climb and what it was all about.

“It was to show people that anything can be done if you put your mind to it. So, somehow I managed to get up there and get to the top, which was a miracle, really.”


Though he’d done plenty of training, nothing prepared James physically and mentally more than his time competing at the Invictus Games last year.

“Being involved in the Invictus Games really game me a new lease of life,” James enthuses. “Help for Heroes helped me a lot with the Games, with sports kits and things like that. I just wanted to thank them for that and try and give something back.”

James has not been alone in his journey, with members of the Armed Forces community and wider public alike inspired by the physical and mental strength it took to succeed at this challenge.

“I think everything you do is in your head, so it’s about mind over matter,” James advises. “Just keep strong in your head and don’t let the mind or any negativity take over.

“We wanted to show that even if you are disabled, you can still do anything you want to.”

James’ next move? Deciding which challenge to take on next.

You can keep up to date with James’ story here.

**Cover image credit to @jamesrose1286**

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