The two men carry the tree to the final summit

The two men carry the tree to the final summit

A quadriplegic adventurer has completed his challenge to lug a Christmas tree to the top of 12 British mountains to raise cash for charity.

Ed Jackson was joined by fellow climber Ross Stirling on the 12 Peaks of Christmas, with the pair reaching the final summit on Christmas Eve.

The men finished the challenge at the top of Snowdon, having completed 11,490m (37,696ft) of ascent.

Former professional rugby union player Jackson fractured multiple vertebrae in his spine in 2017.

Doctors warned him that he might never walk again. He has since defied the odds and despite now being a partial quadriplegic, has become a successful adventurer. Working closely with him, outdoor firm Berghaus made bespoke adaptations to its high-performance kit, allowing Jackson to attempt ever more challenging terrain.

For the 12 Peaks of Christmas, Berghaus modified a rucksack so the two men could carry the tree in the mountains. During the challenge, the pair successfully climbed the highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales, and have so far raised almost £20,000 for their two chosen charities, Millimetres 2 Mountains Foundation and War Child’s Afghanistan emergency appeal.

Ed Jackson said: “This challenge has been fairly brutal at times, but an amazing experience.

Ed Jackson, centre right, and Ross Stirling, centre left, are joined by friends on top of Snowdon

Ed Jackson, centre right, and Ross Stirling, centre left, are joined by friends on top of Snowdon

“I have Brown-Sequard syndrome and in my case this means that all of my left side is underpowered and I have a lack of sensation on the right side. I also struggle with bowel, bladder and temperature regulation issues, so I have to keep concentrating for every step I take, and during a 14-hour day of walking, that’s really hard.

“Snowdon was the first mountain I climbed once I was able to walk after my accident. Reaching the top again on Christmas Eve and knowing that Ross and I were raising money for such good causes, was pretty emotional. I was thinking about how far I’ve come and how grateful I am for that, and to all of the people and organisations who have supported me on the journey.”

The Sunderland-based outdoors brand has established Berghaus Adapts, a scheme that will use product adaptations to help more people access the outdoors. The company is already working with more beneficiaries who have been identified by Millimetres 2 Mountains, the charity that Jackson founded to give others who have faced trauma the opportunity to experience the physical and mental health benefits of outdoor activities.

For his next challenge, Jackson hopes to head to Nepal in 2022 to become the first person with a spinal cord injury to successfully climb a 7,000m (22,965ft) mountain.

Donations to Ed Jackson and Ross Stirling’s 12 Peaks of Christmas fundraising can be made via the justgiving site.

Read about Ed Jackson’s alpine adventures with top British climber Leo Houlding.

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