Life saving South Yorkshire hero returns to Mount Everest
A hero South Yorkshire serviceman who abandoned his Mount Everest goal just metres from the summit to save a fellow mountaineer is planning a second climb.
Leslie Binns, aged 42, was praised for bravery when he saved the life of Indian climber Sunita Hazra.
The former solider, who lost his left eye in an explosion while serving in Afghanistan, was 500 metres from the summit when he aborted the mission in May 2016 to save Ms Hazra, who was scaling the mountain ahead of him.
He could not save the life of another climber, Subash Paul, who died on the descent.
Mr Binns, from Wath-upon-Dearne, said he was ‘gutted’ not to have achieved his lifelong ambition and he was adamant he would never attempt the climb again.
But just months later he decided he would train for a second attempt in April, in aid of ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity.
The father-of-one said: “It was such a mix of emotions last time. I was so proud to have saved a life and nearly saved the life of someone else, but was gutted that I didn’t get to the summit.
“I achieved 8,400 metres which is the highest I had ever climbed and was a great achievement.
“When I first got down I spoke to the explorer leader and was adamant I wasn’t going back.
“But there was such a lot of public support when I got home and so I just sat down and had a think.
“To get that close to the top - all that time, pain and mental stress was wasted, so I wanted to go back.”
Mr Binns was in the Army for 13 years, serving in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan and was blown up four times.
He has been awarded two medals, including the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery, for finding improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan in 2009.
Mr Binns said he wanted to raise money for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity because of the support they gave him when he left the Army.