A former soldier who lost part of his right leg in action is preparing to climb the highest mountain outside of Asia.
Ex-Para Terry Byrne, from Colchester, is part of a three-man team hoping to become the first disabled group to successfully complete the notorious Explorers Grand Slam.
The challenge will see the plucky trio climb the highest peaks in seven continents – as well as walking to the North and South Pole unaided.
On Friday (November 20th), Terry will fly to Argentina to take on Aconcagua, a gruelling 6,960.8 metres climb in temperatures of below minus 40 degrees Celsius.
31-year-old Terry and his team will be away for three weeks. The first week will be spent acclimatising before the two-week climb begins.
At the top where conditions are particularly severe, Terry will only be covering about 100 metres to 200 metres an hour.
Terry, who works as an assistant site manager at Persimmon Homes Essex, said: “It’s been a long wait since last November when we climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.
“It’s a huge challenge for us in very tricky conditions, but we have trained hard and we are ready.
“We have spent a lot of money on special thermal clothing to prepare for the low temperatures, and I have put on a bit of weight.
“We’ve been training at the Three Peaks in Yorkshire and also doing lots of bike riding.
“It’s going to be physically exhausting and we’ll be fighting for oxygen at the top, but we are determined. We refuse to lose.”
Terry and the team have already scaled Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Elbrus, the highest peaks in Africa and Europe.
The team hope to complete the Explorers Grand Slam in the next five years.
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 leading house builder Persimmon, currently working at the Nightingale Gardens development in Stanway.
Philip Standen, manging director at Persimmon Homes Essex, said: “Terry is a remarkable man. This challenge is a massive commitment but I know he is absolutely determined to finish it.
“As a company we are keen to support him in any way we can.”
Persimmon has developments right across Essex, including in Frinton-on-Sea, Romford and East Tilbury.