Mountaintop to a new tomorrow

Three Hills resident Luke Savage, left, speaks with mountain fall survivor Joshua Pelland. Speaking to a standing-room-only audience at the Three Hills Library Feb. 21, Pelland
reviewed his thirst for challenge and adventure in civilian and military life at home and abroad. ECA Review/D.Nadeau

A 65 foot fall off of a BC mountain was both an ending and a beginning for Three Hills’ Joshua Pelland.

Speaking in the Three Hills library to a standing-room-only audience Feb. 21, the 33-year-old former Three Hills student and six-and-a-half-year veteran of the British military suffered catastrophic damage to his slight frame when the June 2016 mountain accident landed him in an extensive rehabilitation program.

In his brief multi-media library presentation, Pelland described a life that always sought more challenges, more action and more travel.

After serving in Afghanistan as a Royal Marine commando, an elite fighting force within the British armed forces, he provided contractual anti-pirate ship security before continuing a long-term fascination with the challenges of mountain climbing.

The mountain climbing accident proved to be the end of one kind of mobility, so, Pelland said, he had to dig deep to move ahead in life.

“I started using an arm-powered recumbent bike and felt myself being drawn back to the mountains.

“While in rehab, I read about climbers who had a spiritual connection to the mountains and as I went back as a cyclist, I experienced it too.

“I had to dig deep inside of me to get to where I wanted to go.”

With the help of supportive friends, family, a fiancée, and a conditioning coach in Calgary,  Pelland’s long-term goal is to represent Canada at the Olympic level, a goal he admits demands rigorous training and a drive that will have to come from deep inside.

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