After battling sub-zero temperatures and arctic conditions, Pete Bowker became the first amputee to cross the Greenland Ice Cap unsupported in June 2015.
The former British Army and Queen’s Dragoon Guards Lance Corporal lost his right leg below the knee after the armoured vehicle he was traveling in hit an improvised explosive device while on tour in Afghanistan. Pete’s rifle shattered his leg in 9 places, causing irreparable damage to his tibia and heel and despite efforts to save his leg, Pete was discharged from service in 2012. After years of rehabilitation, determined Pete was inspired to cross the Greenland Ice Cap after he learned that it had never been crossed by an amputee.
Following years of arduous training, fundraising and skiing lessons, Pete and the 65 Degrees North team headed for Greenland. Covering 600km and pulling sleds weighing up to 135kg, Pete and his Ice Team battled their way across the ice cap in temperatures as low as minus 37°c. Blatchford was proud to support Pete by providing an Elite Blade and sockets; fitted by prosthetist Alan McDougall. Alan commented, “Pete is incredibly committed and it’s been a pleasure to support him. The Elite Blade is ideal for the conditions as it reduces shock and provides energy return. The carbon fibre design is lightweight and low maintenance which was essential for Pete to conserve energy and minimise potential repairs.”
Blisters on Pete’s stump, vicious storms and white-outs challenged the team’s strength and resilience. Exhausted and frost-bitten, the team reached 65 Degrees North at 01:36 on the 4th of June 2015.