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Sir Ranulph Fiennes abandons South American summit bid

Severe back pain forced Sir Ranulph Fiennes to abandon his attempt. Photo: Marie Curie

Sir Ranulph Fiennes has been forced to abandon his effort to climb Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America, after suffering from severe back pain.

The 72-year-old had to be helicoptered from the mountain, when he was just a few hours from the summit on Monday (16/01).

The explorer was suffering from severe back pain. Credit: Marie Curie

Sir Ranulph was climbing the mountain as part of his attempt to become the first person to cross both the polar ice caps and climb the seven highest mountains on each continent.

He was helicoptered from the mountain. Credit: Marie Curie

His adventures raise money for the terminal illness charity Marie Curie.

I was within just a few hours of the summit but problems with my back meant I couldn’t continue. I’m very frustrated, but I’ve learnt that at my age you can’t ignore any pain. I’m going to come home to the UK and get my back looked at before I do anything else.

– Sir Ranulph Fiennes

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

Despite efforts to continue, Sir Ranulph was forced to admit defeat. Credit: Marie Curie

Sir Ranulph has raised over £18m in total for charity and aims to raise £20m for good causes in his lifetime.

He's going to return to the UK to have someone check him over. Credit: Marie Curie