Wednesday, October 14, 2009


An epileptic man who was born with just one hand and told he would never be able to climb a tree or ride a bike is to star in a film celebrating his heroic climbing achievements. Kevin Shields, who has just a thumb on his left hand, has mastered difficult levels of climbing grades - including ice climbing. And now a film, called Single Handed, has been made about his achievements. Directed by Paul Diffley, it premieres in Edinburgh this weekend.

'The first day I tried scrambling up in Glencoe was like a door opening,' said the 31-year-old, from Fort William. 'It felt brilliant and I decided I wanted to try rock climbing next. And when I got the hang of that, I went ice climbing, too. 'I live for climbing. I work just enough to be able to pay the bills, but I want to spend as much time in the mountains as possible. Nothing else matters at the moment. 'I don't think I am so special. Maybe kind of crazy - that's at least the reaction I get off most people. People think I must have some sort of death wish, but that is not the case at all. I only take calculated risks.' He hopes the can be an inspiration to others. 'In the past, one of my reasons for doing this was to show people that I could do it, despite my disability - but I passed that stage three years ago and I guess I'm now trying to prove a point to myself,' he said. 'It would be nice if other people with disabilities saw this film and were motivated.'

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