A British mountaineer who climbed Switzerland's iconic Matterhorn say he is the first quadruple amputee to do so.

Jamie Andrew lost his hands and feet to frostbite after becoming trapped in a snowstorm while mountaineering in France 17 years ago.

He spent five years training before attempting to reach the 4,478-meter (14,692-feet) Alpine peak last Thursday with two seasoned guides from the International School of Mountaineering.

Andrew told The Associated Press on Monday that "in the end, climbing the mountain was the easy bit" compared with the long period of rehabilitation and preparation.

The 47-year-old's claim to be the first quadruple amputee at the peak was backed by Kurt Lauber, the warden of the Hoernli Hut base camp, who said he knew of nobody else who'd achieved the feat.