Double amputee climbs Everest 43 years after losing limbs


According to liaison officer Gyanendra Shrestha, Nepali woman climber Nima Jangmu Sherpa also set the record by becoming the country's first woman to scale both Mt Everest and Mt Lhotse this season.

A 69-year-old Chinese climber has conquered Mount Everest on his fifth attempt after losing his feet on the mountain more than 40 years ago.

If successful, Xia Boyu will be the first ever double-amputee to reach Everest's summit from the south side. The decision, which originally was meant to cut the number of deaths on the mountain, was reversed in March by the Nepalese Supreme Court, citing discrimination against disabled climbers.

But at the start of the year, it appeared the moment would never come for Xia. For two days and three nights the team endured subzero temperatures, made worse for Xia, who chose to lend his sleeping bag to a fellow climber who had fallen ill. He discovered the next morning he had frostbite in his feet, requiring both to be amputated.

Twenty years later, both of his legs would be amputated, too, after he developed lymphoma, a rare form of blood cancer.

Despite his injuries, he never abandoned the notion of reaching the summit. With AP Photos.An expedition organizer says an Australian mountaineer has scaled Mount Everest to become the fastest to climb the highest peaks on all seven continents. "I have to realise it", he said. "It also represents a personal challenge, a challenge of fate", Xia told AFP last month before heading to the mountain.

Bad weather forced him to turn back during his previous attempt in 2016 when he was just 200 metres from the summit.

Xia applied for his permit just weeks after that reversal, according to the Washington Post.

Xia is now reportedly descending the mountain with the help of Mingma G. Sherpa, a Nepalese climber who has bested 14 of the world's highest peaks. However, the law wasn't passed finally as it was termed discriminatory by Nepalese courts.

He is at least the second double amputee climber to summit Everest, after New Zealand's Mark Inglis achieved that feat in 2006.

Thirty-six-year-old Steve Plain began his expedition in Antarctica early this year and reached Everest's summit on the 117th day on Monday, breaking his rival's record at 226 days. He suffered a broken neck or "hangman's fracture" and said doctors had told him they were not sure if he would ever walk again.

Climbers try to minimise the time they spend in the aptly named Death Zone, an area above 8,000m on Everest where there is less than a third of the oxygen found at sea level.