HomeSocietyDouble amputee Gurka veteran reaches the peak of Mount Everest

Double amputee Gurka veteran reaches the peak of Mount Everest

In an incredible feat, a double amputee veteran of Afghanistan has reached the summit of Mount Everest.

Hari Budha Magar created mountaineering history when he climbed to the top of the world’s tallest mountain on Friday May 19th at 3 pm. This was despite conditions not being in his favour, including bad weather which meant that his expedition had to put off their trip for 18 days.

It had looked a little dicey for a while, with Hari saying that they nearly ran out of supplies- including oxygen as they came back down the mountain.

“When I came down we ran out of oxygen. The guys came up with oxygen … I was bumping down on my bum and we had 30, 40 minutes of oxygen, and we still had about two, three hours to get down.

“All of my jackets were completely freezing. It was all frozen. Even our warm water, we put hot water in the Thermos, and that was also frozen and we were not able to drink,” Hari said in an interview with the PA news agency from the Mount Everest base camp.

Despite the challenges the Afghanistan war veteran proudly made it back to base camp, with the help of a team of Nepalese climbers. The feat was made even more special though, due to the fact that after Hari first lost his legs in Afghanistan he felt into a pit of despair.

I grew up in Nepal, up to age of 19, and I saw how the disabled people were treated in those remote villages,” he said. “Many people still think that disability is a sin of previous life and you are the burden of the earth. I believed this myself because that is what I saw. That is how I grew up.”

Hari eventually clawed his way back up from alcoholism and despair and in 2018 decided it was time to conquer Mount Everest. At the time double amputees were not allowed to the summit. Hari helped campaign to get the ban lifted, so that he and others like him could be allowed the same opportunity as everyone else.

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