A SOLDIER who lost his foot in an explosion in Afghanistan is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for charity.

Ex-Royal Marine Danny Bottomley stood on an IED that blew off his left foot, fingertips and caused damage to his hearing in 2008, at the age of 21.

For a year he undertook rehabilitation at Headley Court but was adamant not to let his disability change his life.

The sports enthusiast instead began mountain climbing and has since then qualified as a mountain leader, canoe and kayak coach and trail cycle leader.

Now he is gearing up to take on his biggest challenge yet and and climb the 19,341ft up Mount Kilimanjaro, in aid of UK charity Walking With The Wounded.

The 28-year-old, of Kensington Drive in Horwich, said: "I had a lot of support after the accident but I always remained positive.

"At the end of the day you are just glad that you got home alive and then you just have to get on with life. You can't get swallowed up in self pity."

Mr Bottomley, who is currently an outdoor education instructor, has climbed Mont Blanc, Ben Nevis and also completed the Yorkshire three Peaks, The New York Marathon and triathlons in Tatton Park and Clitheroe.

He is also taking part in the July Iron Man.

But he said this climb, which has been organised by Kandoo Adventures, will be his most challenging yet.

He added: "It will certainly be the toughest in terms of altitude and height, whether it will be the hardest one I have done, we will see.

"We will be walking for about 10 hours a day but the last day, to reach the summit, will probably be 15 to 20 hours, so it will be intense.

"I am really excited for it though, I think it will be ace and it is a great opportunity that has been given to us.

"I love climbing and the outdoors, it is just a great environment to be in.

"There are so many natural landscapes on your doorstep and it is that sense of freedom that you get when exploring them."

The WWTW Kilimanjaro Challenge will take take place between October 9 and October 17.