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Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 10:53
Chinese double amputee, 70, conquers highest peak
By Xinhua
Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 10:53 By Xinhua

Xia Boyu heads to Qomolangma for his historic climb on May 6. (PHOTO / CHINA DAILY)

Xia Boyu, 70, became on Monday the first double amputee to scale Qomolangma, the world's highest peak, from the Nepali side, government officials confirmed.

The Chinese double amputee scaled the summit at 8:40 am local time today. He is the first double amputee to climb the peak from the south face

Gyanendra Shrestha, Official, Department of Tourism, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation

The only other double amputee to summit Qomolangma, known in the West as Mount Everest, was Mark Inglis from New Zealand, who reached the peak from China's Tibet autonomous region in 2006.

"The Chinese double amputee scaled the summit at 8:40 am local time today. He is the first double amputee to climb the peak from the south face," Gyanendra Shrestha, an official at the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, told Xinhua via telephone from the base camp.

Xia's accomplishment comes a day after eight rope-fixing team members reached the summit, making the climbing route open for all other climbers for 2018 spring season.

The double amputee had received a climbing permit from Nepal after the Nepali supreme court ruled in March double amputees and visually impaired climbers may scale any mountain above 6,500 meters.

Xia's expedition is managed by Nepal-based Imagine Treks and Expeditions. Before leaving for the expedition, the Chinese climber told reporters that it was his fifth attempt to scale the 8,848-meter peak.

He lost both his legs to frostbite in 1975 during his first attempt to reach the summit.

Xia had attempted to reach the summit in 2014, 2015 and 2016 as well, but his dreams were shattered owing to an avalanche, an earthquake and bad weather, respectively.

Also on Monday, Australian climber Steve Plain reached the top of Qomolangma, becoming the fastest climber to summit the highest mountains in each of the world's seven continents.

Plain conquered Qomolangma only 117 days after he reached the peak of Mount Vinson-the highest mountain in Antarctica-breaking the previous seven-summit speed record by nine days.

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