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Against All Odds

One mountaineer set his sights high. Keegan Reilly is a paraplegic (par ah PLEE jik) who recently climbed to the top of Mount Fuji, Japan's tallest peak. This man from Alaska, who is in his early 20s, lost the use of his legs several years ago in a car accident. He is believed to be the first paraplegic to climb Mount Fuji.

“I want to show people what I am able to do,” Reilly said from the top of Mount Fuji. “Maybe it will inspire them.”

Reaching the Summit

How exactly did he make his climb? Reilly used a special bike that he powered with his arms. Reilly traveled with a support team of eight people and reached the summit, or peak, of the mountain within four days. In general, the climb takes about six hours.

Reilly's journey was not without obstacles. A park ranger stopped his team and said mountain bikes weren't allowed on the trail. The team managed to persuade the park ranger to allow them to continue their journey. Although Reilly's bike was built to climb rocks, the trail was covered with volcanic ash and gravel, making for a difficult ride.

High Goals

Mount Fuji is one of the most climbed peaks in the world. Reilly chose the mountain because he wanted to pick one outside the United States. Since losing the use of his legs, Reilly has also climbed peaks in Colorado and California.

Now that he has accomplished his goal, he has set his sights even higher. He hopes to climb the highest peak in North America, Mount McKinley in Alaska, and the tallest peak in South America, Aconcagua in Argentina. “I hope to climb one mountain every year,” he said.