Witness the dramatic moment Sir Ranulph was airlifted from 22,838ft

Despite injury setback, Sir Ranulph Fiennes vows to continue his challenge to become the first person to cross both polar ice caps and climb the highest mountains on each continent in support of Marie Curie.

Last month, Sir Ranulph Fiennes was tantalisingly close to reaching the summit of Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America, when he hit a heartbreaking obstacle. Severe back pain forced the intrepid 72-year-old to abandon his attempt just hours from the 6,962m (22,838ft) summit.

Sir Ranulph had been climbing the mountain as part of his attempt to become the first person to cross both polar ice caps and climb the seven highest mountains on each continent, as part of his ‘Global Reach Challenge’ to raise funds for Marie Curie.

Despite the setback, Sir Ran has shown yet more of the steely determination that marks him out as the ‘world’s greatest living explorer’, today vowing to continue his challenge. He now plans to tackle Mount Carstenz, the highest peak in Australasia, at the beginning of April.

“I’m determined to keep going”

“I was very disappointed at having to abandon my Aconcagua attempt so close to the summit. But my experience has taught me that not every attempt in life will be a success, it took three attempts for me to successfully climb Everest,” says Sir Ranulph.

To complete his Global Reach Challenge and claim a world first, Sir Ranulph still needs to successfully climb Aconcagua in South America, Carstenz in Indonesia and Denali in North America.

“Unless something is seriously wrong with my health, I am determined to keep going. Having now had a good report from the doctor, I am going to try and do these last three mountains, starting with Carstenz in April. I’m looking forward to it and I just hope that my back behaves itself,” says Sir Ranulph.

“I want to become the first person to cross Antarctica, cross the arctic and climb the seven highest mountains on each continent. I want to do it before anyone else so that I am able to raise money for Marie Curie. That is a big motivation for continuing this challenge – to raise money for Marie Curie, which I think does so much good for terminally ill people and their families,” says Sir Ranulph.

The money Sir Ranulph raises will help Marie Curie provide vital care and support to people living with a terminal illness and their families.