Warren Macdonald’s Story

Warren's Story

RuwenzorisWarren Macdonald has always had a taste for adventure. His affinity with wild places, and bearing witness to their disappearance (through clear-cut logging), led him to become a committed environmentalist. What does committed mean? He was once arrested after having to be cut by an angle grinder from beneath a D9 bulldozer. The charge was dropped, by the way, but that’s another story…

In April 1997 Warren set out on what was supposed to be a revitalizing, grounding, backpacking trip to Hinchinbrook Island, off the northeast coast of Australia. His life would never be the same again. Climbing to the summit of the islands tallest peak, he became trapped beneath a one-ton boulder in a freak rock fall. His companion, Geert van Keulen, a Dutch traveller he’d met the day before, his only hope for survival. As Warren lay crushed, Geert raced down the mountain to get help. Warren’s “test of will” lasted two days before a helicopter arrived, and he was rescued. The accident would cost him the loss of both legs, amputated at mid thigh.

Obviously, he survived, but Warren’s story doesn’t end there; far from it. It was after the accident that things got really interesting…

Just ten months later, Warren climbed Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain using a modified wheelchair and the seat of his pants. In February 2003, he became the first double above-knee amputee to reach the summit of Africa’s tallest peak, Mt Kilimanjaro (19,222ft). More recently, in a spectacular effort requiring 2800 pull-ups over 3 days, made an ascent of America’s tallest cliff face, El Capitan.

Warren currently lives in the Canadian Rockies with his partner Margo Talbot.

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