A BRITISH paraclimber has shared his incredible attempt to be the first blind person to lead climb the Old Man of Hoy.

Jesse Dufton can only distinguish between light and dark, meaning that as he climbs he needs to feel for foot and handholds rather than spot them.

He was born with the degenerative eye condition retinitis pigmentosa and his lack of sight mean he is no longer able to recognise images or read.

Through an online session, Jesse answered questions from Peter Symonds College students about his climb of the Old Man of Hoy, his wider climbing career and his experience of joining and competing with the GB paraclimbing squad.

The Old Man of Hoy is a 137-metre sea stack off the Orkney archipelago in Scotland and one of the tallest stacks in the United Kingdom.

Jesse’s attempt to lead the climb to the summit was the subject of multi-award-winning BBC documentary ‘Climbing Blind’ which charts the climb from preparation to breath-taking ascent.

Jesse had some wise words for attendees on how he stays motivated and positive while dealing with uncertainty and unpredictable changes, echoing the challenges that many of us have faced over the past few months.

He said: “The first stage is to accept that there are things you cannot affect or change.

“And then, to come to terms with that to enable you to focus your attention on the things you can change.

“You can use the situation you find yourself in as an opportunity.

“Accept the uncertainty and change it around to set yourself a goal or a challenge that is positive and within your control,’ he added, citing as an example his target to improve his strength training using equipment in his garage while lockdown prevented him from training outdoors.”