Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

69-year-old double amputee climbs Everest after decades-long mission

69-year-old double amputee climbs Everest after decades-long mission

Years later, he has become the second double-amputee to scale Everest, the first from the Nepalese side.

Xia Boyu, a 69-year-old hit by frostbite on Everest over four decades ago, and Steve Plain, who was almost paralysed by an accident four years ago, were among the first to summit the world's highest mountain.

Mr Xia tried another three times to climb Everest - with his last attempt in 2016 ending just 94m from the summit due to bad weather.

As NPR's Lauren Frayer reported at the time, the new regulations were intended "to keep people safe and also to create jobs for local guides and Sherpas" - but those rules were tossed just months later by Nepal's high court for discriminating against people with disabilities.

If successful, Xia Boyu will be the first ever double-amputee to reach Everest's summit from the south side.

To Xia, reaching the summit "represents a personal challenge, a challenge of fate", he told Japan Times in April. The Chinese climber had been in his mid-20s, serving in an expedition that came close to the peak before it unraveled under the force of high-altitude storms.

A climber who lost both legs to frostbite on Everest four decades ago has finally reached the summit.

Trekkers rest at Everest Base Camp Nepal
Trekkers rest at Everest Base Camp Nepal

A Chinese climber and double amputee has scaled Everest at his fifth attempt - 43 years after he lost both his feet climbing the mountain. Sudarshan Gautam, a Nepal-born Canadian, became the first person without arms to climb Mount Everest in 2013.

Xia announced on Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter, that he had successfully scaled the mountain on Monday. I have to realise it.

Xia ascended Everest along with the Imagine Treks and Expeditions team, led by Sherpa Minima Gyalje. He began January 16 with Mount Vinson in Antarctica, followed by Mount Aconcagua in South America, Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mount Carstensz Pyramid in Papua New Guinea, which covers Australia and Oceania, Mount Elbrus in Europe and Denali in North America.

BC-AS-Nepal-Everest, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 337Australian climbs 7 peaks in 7 continents in record timeAP Photo BKWS110Eds: Updates with more than 40 climbers including a double-amputee scaling Everest.

His son proudly took to social media to say his father had reached the summit.

"He has set the record of climbing Seven Summits in the shortest time of 117 days", said Ishwari Paudel, an official of the Himalayan Guides hiking company that handled logistics for the climber.

Xia had to mount a legal challenge to make an attempt on the summit this year.


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