The Team

Jaco Van Gass

Jaco van Gass

  • AGE: 25
  • BIRTHPLACE: Middelburg, South-Africa

Military Background:
Jaco joined the Parachute Regiment in February 2007. He completed two tours to Afghanistan in 2008 and 2009.

Nature of Injury:
Jaco was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), which caused the loss of his left arm. He also suffered a collapsed lung, punctured internal organs, loss of muscle and tissue from the upper left thigh, multiple shrapnel wounds and a fractured knee, fibula and tibia.

General Background:
Jaco was born in South Africa and raised in Witbank. After some part-time studies he moved to the UK. In April 2011, Jaco was part of the WWTW expedition team who successfully became the first group of wounded servicemen to reach the geographic North Pole unsupported.

Everest Training:
Jaco has been focusing on leg strength and core stability through running and cycling exercises.

Luxury Item:
His iPad, loaded with music, books, and movies.

Jaco will greatly miss the use of a proper sit down toilet, as “doing this business proves to be a bit more difficult in extreme conditions.”

Why did you want to take part in the expedition?
In order to raise the profile of the wounded. To prove anything is possible if you put your mind to it. To prove that life goes on post injury! To adapt, improvise and overcome, you have to get back up. To inspire other wounded men and women.