Chinese double amputee prepares to scale Mt. Everest after ban revoked

Apr 07, 2018, 08:21 IST | Agencies

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 suffered severe frostbite and lost both his feet in a 1975 expedition. Pic/AFPXia Boyu suffered severe frostbite and lost both his feet in a 1975 expedition. Pic/AFP

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 Xia Boyu is the first double amputee to be given a permit to climb the world's highest mountain after the ban was revoked.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, was "discriminating against the disabled".

"I panicked after I heard the news because it meant I couldnt fulfil my dream. I thought, How can I now get a climbing permit? Xia said. 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 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. The only double amputee to summit Everest is New Zealander Mark Inglis, who achieved the feat in 2006.

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