Double amputee climbs Everest 43 years after losing limbs
16 May, 2018, 11:39 | Author: Carlos George
A Chinese double amputee was among 40 people to scale Mount Everest on Monday on a busy day for the world's highest peak.
In 1975, Xia Boyu lost his feet after giving his sleeping bag to a sick teammate during a high-altitude storm.
During his previous attempts in 2014, 2015 and 2016, Xia's unsuccessful tries to beat Everest were scuttled by a series of natural disasters, including an avalanche, a 7.8-magnitude quake and a blizzard that forced him to turn back just 300 feet from the summit, according to Time.
But at the start of the year, it appeared the moment would never come for Xia.
A government official at the base camp, Gyanendra Shrestha, said Xia Boyu was among more than 40 climbers who reached the summit on Monday because of favorable weather conditions on the mountain.
Xia's dreams received a blow when the Nepal government was trying to formulate a law barring double amputees, blind and solo climbers from climbing the mountain. "It also represents a personal challenge, a challenge of fate", Xia told AFP, a month before heading to the mountain.
They were descending in hard conditions when Xia, then aged 26, gave up his sleeping bag to an ill climber, according to Chinese media. But with 200 meters left to climb a treacherous blizzard forced him to turn back, the Japan Times reported.
According to Iswari Poudel, Managing Director at Himalayan Guides, Steve Plain (36) set the world record of climbing seven summits in the shortest time of 117 days. Sudarshan Gautam, a Nepal-born Canadian, became the first person without arms to climb Mount Everest in 2013.
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The six other highest peaks are Denali (North America), Elbrus (Europe), Vinson (Antarctica), Aconcagua (South America), Kilimanjaro (Africa) and Papua New Guinea's Carstensz Pyramid (Australasia/Oceania).
A group of eight Nepalese Sherpa guides reached the summit on Sunday, fixing ropes and clearing paths for other climbers to begin their ascent to the peak.
Plain, 36, who broke his neck in a bodysurfing accident almost four years ago, climbed the 4,892m Vinson on 16 January. Santiago Quintero, who had half of each foot amputated during a climb in south America, also reached the peak in 2013.
Climbers try to minimise the time they spend in the aptly named "Death Zone" - an area above 8,000 metres on Everest where there is less than a third of the oxygen found at sea level.
Xia had to mount a legal challenge to make an attempt on the summit this year.
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