Dave’s all set to be Mount Elbrus first

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An Ilkeston paralympian is hoping to become the first ever climber with cerebal palsy to reach the summit of Europe’s tallest mountain.

Dave Padgen, 39, was the first European mountaineer with cerebral palsy to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro in January 2008 - a route that 40 per cent of climbers fail to complete.

Dave, who has represented Great Britain in Paralympic games and European and World championships now works as national disability sport officer for British universities and colleges sport.

He now aims to reach the top of mount Elbrus in Russia later this month.

He said: “After climbing Kilimanjaro we started to look at what to do next.

“Elbrus seemed like the next logical step, as the highest mountain in Europe it would be my second of the fabled ‘seven summits’ and even though it’s not a technically difficult climb, it presents a step up in mountaineering terms from Kilimanjaro.

“With that and the chance of the world first for someone with cerebral palsy, how could I resist?”

Dave, who will be climbing in a team of 13, said that his cerebal palsy mainly affects his balance, co-ordination and speech.

He said: “I’m ‘wired’ differently so I have to find different ways to do things, but generally the end result is similar.

“Because it takes a bit more effort for me to do things, getting enough calories and enough rest will be the main issues to deal with on the climb.

“Some sections of the climb may take me longer than usual to complete and I may need to take a slightly different approach but if it wasn’t a challenge I wouldn’t be doing it.”

It is Dave’s second attempt at Mount Elbrus after a climb in 2010 had to be abandoned due to bad weather.

He will be sponsored by the Coaching Academy and Royal Sun Alliance, and recieved the Julie Tullis grant from the BMC to help towards trip costs.