Glenn Shaw has explored some of the world's wildest places. Thanks
to funding by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, in December
2001 Glenn kayaked off the coast of Antarctica. His other exploits
have included trekking in the Himalayas, skiing and dog sledging
in North America, and kayaking in the Middle East. The single detail
that makes Glenn's achievements extraordinary is that he has been
confined to a wheelchair (or 'snowmobile' as Glenn calls his custom-built
vehicle) all his life.
Glenn suffers from a condition known as 'Brittle Bones'. He knows
that the slightest knock can result in a broken limb. A simple fall
might kill him outright. But Glenn is an adventurer, and treats
his physical disability as just another difficulty to overcome.
Glenn first made national newspaper headlines when he set out to
reach the Southern (Nepalese) Base Camp of Mount Everest, the world's
highest mountain in 1997. That attempt ended at an altitude of around
3500 metres when Glenn suffered a dramatic fall during which he
and a Sherpa almost slid over a precipice. Fortunately for the Sherpa,
Glenn was able to use his considerable upper body strength to prevent
them from both going over the edge. With both legs broken in a total
of eight places, Glenn was airlifted back to Kathmandu.
In addition to making four attempts to cross Colorado's Continental
Divide using huskies, Glenn has completed a solo canoe voyage through
British Columbia and Alberta. He has worked with Brunel University's
Research and Development Team in Israel to test and develop kayaking
equipment for fellow disabled explorers. Glenn was honoured to receive
his Fellowship to the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) in 1999.
In 2000, he was awarded a ski scholarship from the American National
Sports Centre For The Disabled.