Chi­nese dou­ble am­putee to climb Mt. Ever­est

The Asian Age - - World -

Bhaktapur ( Nepal), April 6: A Chi­nese climber who lost both legs to frost­bite on Ever­est four decades ago is hop­ing to fi­nally reach the sum­mit af­ter Nepal’s top court over­ruled a con­tro­ver­sial gov­ern­ment ban on blind and dou­ble am­putee clim­bers.

Xia Boyu is the first dou­ble am­putee to be given a per­mit to climb the world’s high­est moun­tain af­ter the ban was re­voked.

The 69- year- old said the mea­sure, in­tro­duced in De­cem­ber to much crit­i­cism, was “dis­crim­i­nat­ing against the dis­abled”.

“I pan­icked af­ter I heard the news be­cause it meant I couldn’t ful­fil my dream. I thought, ‘ How can I now get a climb­ing per­mit?’ Xia told AFP.

But last month, dis­abil­ity ad­vo­cacy groups suc­cess­fully over­turned the ban in Nepal’s high­est court, ar­gu­ing it con­tra­vened the UN con­ven­tion on the rights of peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

Xia’s bid to sum­mit the 8,848- me­tre ( 29,029- foot) moun­tain will be his fifth.

He was part of a Chi­nese na­tional team in 1975 when the group en­coun­tered bad weather just be­low the sum­mit.

Oxy­gen- starved and ex­posed to frigid tem­per­a­tures, Xia suf­fered se­vere frost­bite and lost both his feet.

In 1996, his legs were am­pu­tated just be­low the knee af­ter he was di­ag­nosed with lym­phoma, a form of blood can­cer.

The tena­cious climber re­turned to Ever­est in 2014 but an avalanche killed 16 sherpa guides early in the sea­son, forc­ing most ex­pe­di­tions to call off their sum­mit bids.

Xia was back the fol­low­ing year, but the climb­ing sea­son was again cut short when a pow­er­ful earth­quake struck Nepal, killing around 9,000 peo­ple — in­clud­ing 22 on Ever­est.

His last at­tempt was in 2016 when bad weather again forced him to turn back just 200 me­tres from the sum­mit.

“Climb­ing Mount Ever­est is my dream. I have to re­alise it. It also rep­re­sents a per­sonal chal­lenge, a chal­lenge of fate,” Xia said.

Xia’s guide, Dawa Gyalje Sherpa — who has sum­mited Ever­est eight times — is hope­ful the plucky Chi­nese climber will fi­nally make it to the top this time.

— AFP

This April 4 pho­to­graph shows Chi­nese dou­ble am­putee climber Xia Boyu, who lost both of his legs dur­ing first at­tempt to climb Ever­est, dur­ing an in­ter­view with AFP at Bhaktapur on the out­skirts of Kath­mandu.

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