Chinese double amputee, aged 69, prepares to scale Everest after ban overturned

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AChinese climber who lost both legs to frostbite on Everest is to tackle the mountain again after Nepal revoked a controversial ban on double amputees scaling the world’s highest peak.

The Kathmandu government announced the new regulations, which also include a ban on blind people and solo climbers, in December.

But the ban has now been revoked, and Xia Boyu, aged 69, is heading to Nepal this week for his attempt on Everest after becoming the first double amputee to get a permit after the government u-turn, The Himalayan Times reported.

Mr Xia’s new bid comes 43 years after he first tried to scale the the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) mountain.

He lost both feet when he suffered severe frost bite just below the summit during that attempt.

His legs were amputated almost 20 years later after he was diagnosed with a form of blood cancer.

Mr Xia tried another four times to climb Everest – with his last attempt in 2016 ending just 200m from the summit due to bad weather.

Xia Boyu

His dream of scaling the mountain appeared to have ended when the Nepalese government imposed the rules on double amputees, which Mr Xia described as “discriminating against the disabled”.

However, he is now looking forward to his most challenging attempt to scale Everest.

“Climbing Mount Everest is my dream,” he told Agence France-Presse.

“I have to realise it. It also represents a personal challenge, a challenge of fate,” Mr Xia said.

The decision by Nepal’s top court to overturn the ban is also a boost to former Gurkha Hari Budha Magar, aged 38, who lost both his legs in Afghanistan.

Mr Magar, who was born in Nepal but lives in Kent, had been training for 18 months with an experienced mountaineering team when the ban was announced, causing him to call off his attempt to scale Everest.

The former corporal lost his legs above the knee after he was hit by an improvised explosive device while serving with the Royal Gurkha Rifles in Afghanistan in 2010.

 

 

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