Source:©2018 THE NEW YORK TIMES
The Chinese mountain climber tried to scale Mount Everest almost half a dozen times.
Trekkers at Everest base camp.
Source: Associated Press
The climber, Xia Boyu, ran into avalanches. He was turned back by an earthquake. He suffered frostbite and lost both feet.
Years later, he was diagnosed with lymphoma and doctors amputated both of his legs above the knee.
But Xia never gave up.
On Monday morning, surrounded by ice, snow and rock, Xia reached the top of Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, as a double amputee.
“Everything is possible,” said Ang Tshering Sherpa, who recently stepped down as president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association. “I have found that disabled climbers work hard and they are very committed. It’s a great example to the world about their success.”
Xia isn’t a spring chicken either. He is in his late 60s, though recent photos show him looking trim and fit.
He received a climbing permit two months ago after Nepal’s Supreme Court issued an interim order that allowed double amputee climbers to try for Everest’s summit. Last year Nepal had tried to limit double amputees from climbing the mountain.
He was at least the third double amputee to make it to the top, according to climbing records.
Xia, who comes from Sichuan, lost both his feet to frostbite while trying to reach the summit in 1975, when he and his team were caught in a huge storm.
He was diagnosed with lymphoma in 1996, and doctors removed most of his legs. He was then fitted with prosthetic limbs.
Mark Inglis, a double amputee from New Zealand, set a record on Mount Everest, becoming the first double amputee to reach the summit in 2006, according to the Himalayan Database.
Santiago Quintero Sylva, a double amputee from Ecuador, got to the top in 2013, the database says. Jeff Glasbrenner, a single amputee American, reached the peak of Everest in 2016.
The Everest route opened May 13 this year after an eight-member team of Sherpas repaired the ropes.
Nepal’s tourism department says that 346 mountaineers have taken permits for climbing Mount Everest this year from the Nepal side. It’s also possible to scale the mountain from China.
The weather was clear Monday morning, when Xia made it to the summit, with a team of Sherpas helping him.
By late afternoon, the wind picked up and it began to snow. Nepalese officials said more than 100 climbers were getting ready for the summit and were to head toward it around 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. Monday night.
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