Double Amputee Summits Everest Decades After Losing Feet In Failed Attempt

Aussie climber holds fastest seven summit record; Everest route opens from Tibet side

Aussie climber holds fastest seven summit record; Everest route opens from Tibet side

There are only about a couple of days of windows of good weather on the highest part of the peak in May, when climbers rush to attempt their way to the summit.

Xia Boyu, 70, reached the top of the world's highest peak at 8:40 am, becoming the first double leg amputee to accomplish the feat from the Nepal side, said Tourism Ministry official Gyanendra Shrestha from Everest Base Camp.

This year hundreds are expected to make it to Everest's summit, 65 years after New Zealander Edmund Hillary and sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first to reach the top of the world.

The Australian conquered Everest 117 days after standing atop Mount Vinson in Antarctica, breaking the previous seven summit speed record by nine days.

Xia joins Mark Inglis of New Zealand as at least the second person without legs to climb the world's tallest mountain.

The ruling was overturned by Nepal's top court in March, which branded it as discriminatory towards people with disabilities.

Dawa Futi Sherpa of Imagine Trek and Expedition, which organized the climb and accompanied him up the mountain, told The Washington Post that Xia completed the climb with several other members of his team.

His team had to turn back about 200 metres below the summit in a storm. It affected not only Xia but also a former Gurkha soldier, Hari Budha Magar, who lost both of his legs in Afghanistan and who was also planning to scale Mount Everest. Twenty years later, after developing lymphoma (rare blood cancer), both of his legs were also amputated.

In 2014, he had trained for the climb and returned to the mountain, for the first time since 1975 - but then his climb got canceled after an avalanche killed 16 other climbers.

Xia's success story will surely help a number of mountaineers, who aspire to climb the Everest but fail to do so owing to physical ailments. I have to realise it. Nepal government has issued 346 permits for this year's spring-summer climb between mid-April and May-end.

Another 180 climbers are preparing to summit Everest from its north side in Tibet, according to the China Tibet Mountaineering Association.

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. "Plain took almost seven hours to reach the summit point from Camp IV on Mt Everest", he said.

Some 340 foreign climbers and many Nepalese Sherpa guides are attempting to climb Everest this month.

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