Warren Macdonald’s boundaries were redefined in April 1997 with his accident on North Queensland’s Hinchinbrook Island in Australia. Climbing to the island’s tallest peak, he became trapped beneath a one-ton slab boulder in a freak rock fall. Two days later he was rescued, only to undergo the amputation of both legs at mid thigh. Just ten months later, he climbed Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain using a modified wheelchair and the seat of his pants.
In February 2003, Macdonald became the first double above-knee amputee to reach the summit of Africa’s tallest peak, Mt Kilimanjaro (19,222 ft) and, more recently, in a spectacular effort requiring more than 2,800 pull-ups over four days, made history once again in an ascent of America’s tallest cliff face, El Capitan. He is also the only above-knee amputee to make an ascent of Canada’s landmark frozen waterfall, the 600 ft “Weeping Wall” in Alberta.
Macdonald’s book, A Test of Will, is an Australian bestseller and the subject of the “Trapped Under a Boulder” episode of the Discovery Channel series I Shouldn’t Be Alive. His film, The Second Step, documenting the epic four-week journey to Federation Peak, Australia’s most challenging mountain summit, has been acclaimed worldwide, screening on National Geographic and winning eight international awards including Grand Prize at the prestigious Banff Mountain Film Festival.
Macdonald has appeared on numerous news and current affairs programs, including Larry King Live, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos. He has written articles for CNN World Edition, Australian Geographic, Speaking of Impact and Professional Speaker.
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