1. Wide of summit of Mount Fuji, tilts down to show paraplegic climber Keegan Reilly pedalling his special bike
2. Reilly pedalling the specially designed hand-crank-driven climbing bike on the trail leading to the summit
3. Reilly’s support team walking alongside
4. Various of Reilly pedalling his way up the path
5. Wide of Reilly and team reaching summit marker
6. Reilly and team shouting and clapping in celebration
7. Other hikers walking past
8. Reilly’s team lifting him and his bike up and turning it around, so he can get a good view
9. Wide of Fuji’s crater, pans to show Reilly pedalling
10. Various of Reilly pedalling the four-wheel bike past camera
11. SOUNDBITE: (English) Keegan Reilly, US paraplegic mountain climber:
“After all this hard work and finally getting up here is the best feeling in the world, I mean: my heart’s pounding, so excited to be here, just filled with joy, can’t believe we made it, great team, I couldn’t have made it without my team – just very honoured to be here, on top of Mount Fuji, it’s the greatest feeling in the world.”
12. Wide of Reilly speaking
13. SOUNDBITE: (English) Keegan Reilly, US paraplegic mountain climber:
“I just want to show people what’s out there and may be they can see what I’m doing and it will encourage them to do, even, just to get out into a park or something, or anything, I mean there’s opportunity out there – even some of the mountains – I’m just showing people the technology that’s out there.”
14. Reilly and team celebrating at top of Fuji
A paraplegic mountain climber from the US conquered Japan’s highest peak, Mount Fuji, on Thursday.
Keegan Reilly, who is an Oregon State University student, said that he is now setting his sights on bigger – and higher – goals.
Reilly reached the top of Fuji, which is 3,776-metres (12,385-foot), after a four-day climb.
He finished a full day earlier than he had planned, but had to deal with several unexpected obstacles.
Just after setting out with his eight-man support team on Monday, a ranger stopped him and told him he was not allowed to use his four-wheeled, hand-crank-driven climbing bike on the trail. It took eight hours to convince
him to relent.
Not long after starting off again, the steering column on his custom-made bike broke and had to be repaired.
The trail itself even seemed against him.
Covered with loose gravel, pumice, and volcanic ash and pebbles, the path offered Reilly little traction.
But the Oregon State University student pressed on, and finally cranked the contraption to the edge of Fuji’s steep crater.
He pulled up next to a small wooden Shinto shrine by the crater’s edge and accepted congratulations from his team, which included his three brothers and an uncle, a mountain climbing guide.
Reilly said that reaching the summit made it all worthwhile: it was “the greatest feeling in the world”.
He used a hand crank to propel his “Scarab” climbing bike, made of titanium tubing.
The 35-thousand US dollar machine is designed to roll over boulders and even climb steps.
Although Reilly is believed to be the first paraplegic to climb Mount Fuji, climbers without the use of their legs have reached US summits such as Mount Rainier in Washington State and Mount McKinley in Alaska.
He said he chose Mount Fuji, one of the most-climbed mountains in the world, because he wanted to climb a mountain outside the United States.
Since losing the use of his legs in a 1996 car accident, Reilly has climbed Colorado’s Mount Elbert at 4,379 metres (14,435 feet) and California’s Mount Shasta at 4,296 metres (14,162 feet).
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