Nepal | August 04, 2020

Double above knee amputee Gurkha soldier sets record scaling Mera Peak

Rajan Pokhrel
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Hari Budha Magar at Mera Peak summit. Photo courtesy: Hari Budha Magar

KATHMANDU: Breaking the boundaries of disability, a former British Gurkha soldier who lost both his legs in Afghanistan has scripted a history by successfully standing atop Mera Peak (6,476m) in the autumn climbing season.

Hari Budha Magar, a  bilateral above knee amputee and his ‘Conquering Dreams’ team have scaled the peak at 09:02am on Tuesday, the Conquering Dreams Mera Peak Expedition’ said in a statement. “Budha Magar has become the first double amputee above the knee to climb the country’s highest trekking peak in the autumn season.”

“Life is all about adaptation,” Budha Magar told THT over phone, as he has proved “nothing is Impossible!”

This was part of his training to attempt to climb Mt Everest in Spring 2018, according to the expedition organiser. “He has scripted a history in mountain climbing as he became the first double above knee amputee to summit a peak over 6,000 metres.”

All five members of the team successfully made it to the summit of Mera Peak, Budha Magar added.

According to Krishna Thapa Magar, owner of Himalayan Ski Trek, Budha Magar is the first double amputee above the knee who made it to summit till date, with a confident that people with physical disability can do everything they did before the injuries.

The expedition was supported by UK/Nepal based Himalayan Ski & Treks and US-based Myrmidon Expeditions led by Christopher Pollak.

According to Thapa Magar, Hari had to pay the majority of the expedition cost himself, ‘remortgaging his property’ because ‘people didn’t have any faith in him that he would able to climb Mera Peak.’ Hari didn’t have any corporate sponsors and donations or enough public funding to support this feat of human endeavour, he added.

Budha Magar, a permanent resident of Rolpa district, has served for the Crown with the RGR for 15 years. He was medically discharged from the rank of Corporal from the army in 2014 due to the injuries he sustained while serving in Afghanistan in 2010, after losing both legs below the knees.

According to the Nepal Mountaineering Association, Mera peak, Budha Magar has climbed, is the highest permitted trekking peak in the country.

“I always want to and inspire others by climbing mountains,” the father of three earlier said, while talking to THT. “Mera peak was the best choice to train myself for the upcoming challenge,” he said.

Lead climbing Sherpa Mingma David said that Budha Magar would also be the first bilateral, above knee amputee to attempt to climb Mt Everest in 2018.

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