Nepal | July 16, 2020

70-year-old double amputee Chinese to scale Mt Everest

Rajan Pokhrel
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Xia Boyu

Xia Boyu at a hotel in Kathmandu. Photo: THT

KATHMANDU: Xia Boyu, a double amputee climber from China, is all set to leave for Mt Everest this week to attempt to climb the world’s highest peak from Nepal side in the spring season, according to officials.

Ram Prasad Sapkota, Director at the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, said that the double amputee Chinese climber had already received a climbing permit for Mt Everest.

“The DoT issued a climbing permit to Xia Boyu (70) after the Supreme Court recently stayed a government decision to bar double amputee and visually impaired persons from climbing mountains,” he clarified.

After receiving the permit, Boyu said that he was determined to achieve his goal by standing atop the world’s highest mountain this season, adding that it’s his 40-year-long battle for Mt Everest.

“It is my fifth attempt on Mt Everest,” the climber told THT in Kathmandu. “The nine-member team along with Sherpa guides will leave for Lukla in a day or two,” he added.

Putting aside his pain, Boyu also took part in different adventure trainings to prepare himself for the toughest Everest bid, Gao Li, team leader of the expedition, said.

According to the expedition organiser, Boyu, a former member of the Chinese Mountaineering Team, lost both his legs to frostbite in 1975 during his first attempt to reach the summit of Mt Everest, when he abandoned his summit attempt after reaching above 8,000 m.

Mingma Gyaljje Sherpa, Managing Director at the Imagine Trek and Expedition, will accompany him to the top of the summit. “It’s my privilege to have such a courageous climber,” Sherpa, who completed his 12th mountain above 8,000 m by scaling Mt K2 last year, shared, adding, “Xia Boyu will make a history in the mountain climbing by becoming the first double amputee to ascend Mt Everest from Nepal side this season.”

Other members of the team include Liu Yi, Gang Song, Lok Kee Siu, Huajie Lu, Wu Yan from China, Michael Lees from Canada, and Damien Francois from Belgium.

Earlier, Hari Budha Magar, a former British Gurkha soldier who lost both his legs in Afghanistan, has been forced to postpone his bid to climb Mt Everest this year citing the discriminatory government rule. Budha Magar will attempt to climb Mt Everest next year, according to the Conquering Dreams Expedition.

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