Chinese Double Amputee Achieves Goal of Climbing Everest
A Chinese climber who lost both legs to frostbite on Everest around forty years ago achieved the his goal of reaching the summit on Monday (May 14), just months after the revocation of a controversial ban on double amputee climbers attempting the world’s highest peak. Xia Boyu, 69, summited Everest on early Monday on his fifth attempt to reach the top of the 29,029 foot mountain.
“He reached the summit this morning, along with seven other members of his team,” said Dawa Futi Sherpa of Imagine Trek and Expedition, who organised Xia’s Everest bid. Xia’s dream of standing at the top of the world was nearly thwarted by the Nepal government, which last year banned double amputee and blind climbers from summiting its mountains.
The ruling was overturned by Nepal’s top court in March, which branded it as discriminatory towards people with disabilities. Xia first attempted to summit Everest with a Chinese government-backed team in 1975, but was thwarted by bad weather. He became stuck in the frigid low-oxygen environment near the top of Everest and suffered severe frostbite, losing both his feet.
The tenacious climber returned to Everest in 2014 and 2015 but Nepal’s climbing season was cancelled both years due to disasters. Bad weather forced him to turn back during his previous attempt in 2016 when he was just 200 metres from the summit. “Climbing Mount Everest is my dream. I have to realize it. It also represents a personal challenge, a challenge of fate,” Xia said before heading to the mountain.