June 16, 2024

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A double-legged Gurkha soldier on Mount Everest

A double-legged Gurkha soldier on Mount Everest

Former Gurkha soldier Hari Buda Magar has become the first double above-knee amputee to climb Mount Everest, a member of his team said on Sunday.

• Read more: With both legs amputated, he wants to climb Mount Everest

He reached the summit of Sagarmatha around 3 pm (Nepal time) on Friday. After successfully reaching the summit, he will descend to the base camp and return to Kathmandu tomorrow (Monday),” he told AFP, using the Nepalese name for Everest.

Mr Magar, 43, lost his legs in Afghanistan in 2010 when he jumped on an improvised explosive device while serving in the Gurkha Regiment, a unit of Nepalese soldiers in the British Army.

Only two below-the-knee amputees have reached the summit of Everest: New Zealander Mark Inglis in 2006 and China’s Xia Boyu in 2018.

AFP

Mr. Makar, who has prosthetic legs, has already climbed several peaks, including Mount Toubkal in Morocco, Ben Nevis in Scotland and Mont Blanc in Europe.

But the former corporal was barred from scaling the world’s highest mountain for years due to Nepalese law banning double amputees and the blind from climbing the mountain.

Nepal’s Supreme Court overturned the law – which was not in force when Mark Inglis climbed the 8,849m peak – in 2018 under pressure from Mr Magar.

“As long as you adapt your life to the weather and the situation, anything is possible, there is no limit, the sky is the limit,” Mahar told AFP last April before surrendering at Everest Base Camp.

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On his website, his rise is presented under the slogan “No Legs, No Limits”.

Nepal is home to eight of the world’s ten highest peaks and welcomes hundreds of climbers each spring, when temperatures are mild and the often dangerous Himalayan winds are generally mild.

Bhikyan Koirala of Nepal’s tourism department told AFP that nearly 450 climbers have already climbed Mount Everest this season.

By 2023, Nepal had already issued 478 permits to climb Mount Everest, and since most climbers must be accompanied by a guide, more than 900 were expected to attempt the summit this season — a record.

Nine climbers have already lost their lives this climbing season.