Peak per­for­mance

Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - NEWS - Aaron Cor­lett

STEVE Plain was fac­ing an un­cer­tain fu­ture af­ter break­ing his neck at Cottes­loe Beach in 2014 but just three years later he is about to tackle the world’s high­est sum­mits. “The doc­tors wanted to op­er­ate and fuse the ver­te­brae, which would have meant that I would lose mo­bil­ity, but be­cause of some com­pli­ca­tions with torn lig­a­ments it was too hard,” Mr Plain said. “They put me in a halo brace and I never had an op­er­a­tion.”

FROM the lows of be­ing dumped by a wave at Cottes­loe and break­ing his neck, Steve Plain will reach some of the high­est points on Earth.

The Burswood res­i­dent has made a re­mark­able re­cov­ery since that De­cem­ber day in 2014.

An in­ten­sive re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gram has en­abled him to at­tempt a world record as he tries to climb the high­est sum­mits on the seven con­ti­nents in four months from Jan­uary.

“It was about 5.30am and I de­cided to go in for a swim with my friends; I saw a wave com­ing through and I put my head un­der wa­ter and then I blacked out,” he said.

“I woke up up­side down and I tried to get up­right but I couldn’t move my arms.

“I was lucky there were life­savers on the beach who could help.”

Mr Plain said it was his time in the hos­pi­tal that con­firmed to him he wanted to take on the seven sum­mits.

“It was some­thing I had al­ways wanted to do and this was the kick up the butt to do it,” he said. “About 11 months af­ter the ac­ci­dent, I climbed Mt Aspir­ing in New Zealand and af­ter that I went to the Peru­vian An­des and two trips to the Hi­malayas.

“I’ve been keep­ing up my fit­ness work, run­ning up and down Ja­cob’s Lad­der and do­ing lots of strength-based ex­er­cises.”

Mr Plain said the moun­tain he was most look­ing for­ward to climb­ing was Vin­son Mas­sif on Antarc­tica.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to the ad­ven­ture, it’s a bit like the last fron­tier,” he said.

“I’m not so ex­cited about De­nali in Alaska be­cause we will be go­ing dur­ing win­ter, on a good day there it will be -40C with gale force winds.

“I’m feel­ing good but there are so many un­knowns and there is the lo­gis­tics of climb­ing these re­mote lo­ca­tions, which makes things dif­fi­cult.”

Mr Plain will be rais­ing money for Surf Life Sav­ing WA and Spinal Cure Aus­tralia. Visit http://www.projec­t7in4.com/ for more in­for­ma­tion about his trip.

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d476731

Steve Plain in Sir Charles Gaird­ner Hos­pi­tal af­ter break­ing his neck at Cottes­loe beach.

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