Monday 16 September 2019

Chinese double amputee conquers Mount Everest aged 69

More than 40 climbers reached the world’s highest peak on Monday including one who set a new record of 117 days for scaling the biggest mountains on seven continents.

General view of Mount Everest and the Himalayas (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
General view of Mount Everest and the Himalayas (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

By Binaj Gurubacharya

A Chinese double amputee was among 40 people to scale Mount Everest on Monday on a busy day for the world’s highest peak.

A government official in Nepal said Xia Boyu, a 69-year-old, was among those who took advantage of favourable weather conditions to conquer the mountain.

The Chinese climber is not the first double-amputee on Everest, but he is the oldest.

The first was New Zealand climber Mark Inglis, who reached the summit in 2006 at the age of 59.

Trekkers rest at Everest Base Camp, Nepal (Tashi Sherpa/AP)

Another to make himself on Monday was an Australian who completed his quest to climb the highest peaks on all seven continents in record time.

Australian climber Steve Plain scaled Everest 117 days after beginning his mission in Antarctica.

Iswari Poudel of Himalayan Guides Nepal said he received a phone call from Mount Everest base camp saying Mr Plain, along with two guides, reached the 8,850-metre (29,035-ft) peak at around 7am and they were descending.

Mr Plain, 36, from Perth, climbed Mount Vinson in Antarctica on January 16.

He followed that with Mount Aconcagua in South America, Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mount Carstensz Pyramid in Papua New Guinea, which covers Australia and Oceania, Mount Elbrus in Europe and Denali in North America.

A surfing accident in 2014 left Mr Plain with multiple injuries but he recovered to continue mountain climbing.

A general view of Mount Everest in Nepal (David Cheskin/PA)

Polish climber Janusz Kochanski held the previous record for climbing the seven peaks, doing it in 126 days last year.

A group of eight Nepalese Sherpa guides reached the summit on Sunday, fixing ropes and clearing paths for other climbers to begin their ascent to the peak.

Some 340 foreign climbers and many Nepalese Sherpa guides are attempting to climb Everest this month.

The popular spring season runs from March until the end of May, after which weather conditions on the mountain begin to deteriorate.

There are usually only a few days of good weather on the highest part of the mountain in May, when climbers rush to attempt the summit.

PA Media

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