Geek Out

One-Armed Afghan War Veteran To Climb Everest With Prosthetic Ice Pick

Losing an arm in Afghanistan isn’t stopping Private Jaco Van Gass from climbing the highest mountain in the world. The 25-year-old South African soldier is testing a prosthetic ice axe of his own design, which he’ll use to climb Mt Everest next month.

Van Gass had the idea to attach a pick to a false arm after he travelled to the North Pole last year with Walking with the Wounded, a UK charity that helps rehabilitate soldiers injured in the field. He asked engineers at a rehab centre in Britain to help him design the axe.

The badass tool is formed from a regular axe, with one side sawed off and attached to the prosthetic. It also includes an electrical system to keep van Gass’s stump heated.

Van Gass will be joined by four other injured vets on his trek. Can’t wait to see what kind of specialised gear they’ve been outfitted with. [The Guardian via The Daily What]