Tetraplegic Kiwis reach Mt Everest base camp

Jul 07, 2013, 06:09 IST | Agencies

Sixty years after compatriot Edmund Hillary scaled the Mount Everest, three New Zealand tetraplegics reached the base camp in the Himalayas yesterday.

Catriona Williams, Neil Cudby and Rob Creagh made the climb using hand-bikes as part of a 1,000-km ride across 10 Himalayan passes, some above 5,000 metres in altitude.

The project has been a year in the planning and has involved intensive training including with the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

An aerial photograph of Mount Everest. File Pic

A dozen able-bodied riders from Australia, Britain and New Zealand, including a sports doctor accompanied the three riders. A spokesperson in Wellington, Megan Speirs, said the trio was very emotional to reach the Base Camp -- 60 years after Hillary did.

But she said their journey has not been without challenges and there were mechanical issues with one of the bikes, which meant it had to be towed by the other two riders to cross into Everest Base Camp.

Speirs said the riders also had to deal with altitude sickness.They have raised 600,000 New Zealand dollars towards their goal of one million New Zealand dollars for spinal research 

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