KATHMANDU, May 14 (Xinhua) — Xia Boyu, 70, on Monday scaled the world’s highest peak Qomolangma as the first double amputee climber from the Nepali side, government officials confirmed.
Till date, the only double amputee to summit Qomolangma is Mark Inglis from New Zealand, who had scaled the peak from China’s Tibet side in 2006.
“The Chinese double amputee scaled the summit at 8:40 a.m. local time today. He is the first double amputee to climb the peak from south face,” Gyanendra Shrestha, an official at the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, told Xinhua via telephone from the base camp.
Xia’s successful summit comes a day after eight rope-fixing team members reached the summit, making the climbing route open for all other climbers for 2018 spring season.
The double amputee had received the climbing permit from the Nepali government after the country’s supreme court, on March, allowed double amputee and visually impaired persons from climbing any mountains above 6,500 meters.
Xia’s expedition has been managed by a Nepal-based Imagine Treks and Expeditions company. Before leaving for the expedition, the Chinese climber told media that it is his fifth attempt to scale the 8,848-meter world’s highest peak.
He had lost both his legs in 1975 during his first attempt to reach the summit due to frostbite.
Xia had attempted for the summit in 2014, 2015 and 2016 as well, but his dreams were shattered owing to avalanche, earthquake and bad weather respectively.
According to Nepal’s tourism department, the official government body which issues climbing permits for the Qomolangma expedition, 346 mountaineers from 38 Nepali and foreign teams have taken the permits for expedition this year.