Xia Boyu, a 69-year-old hit by frostbite on Everest more than four decades ago, and Steve Plain, who was almost paralysed by an accident four years ago, were among the first to summit the world's highest mountain. He stood atop the summit at 8.40 a.m. (10.55 p.m. EDT).
The achievement by 69-year-old Chinese national Xia Boyu comes just months after the revocation of a controversial ban on double amputee climbers attempting the world's highest peak. (According to Dawa Gyalje, Nima Jangmu became the first Nepalese woman to summit Everest and Lhotse together in one season.) The 14 climbers were among the first to summit Everest this season after a Sherpa team set the fixed ropes to the summit the previous afternoon.
The ruling was overturned by Nepal's top court in March, which branded it as discriminatory towards people with disabilities. His expedition was managed by a Nepal-based Imagine Treks and Expeditions company.
Expert Sherpa guides are chosen to open up the path to the summit and fix ropes for other climbers.
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Xia lost both legs below the knee when he was 25, after a failed attempt in the mid-1980s resulted in severe frostbite.
At that altitude traffic jams can be deadly as the low oxygen environment leads to hypoxia - acute oxygen deprivation that leaves climbers vulnerable to frostbite, deadly swelling of the brain and fluid build-up in the lungs.
The tenacious climber returned to Everest in 2014 and 2015 but Nepal's climbing season was cancelled both years due to disasters. In 2016, he got within 300 feet of the summit only, once again, to be turned back by bad weather. Three years earlier, a Nepali-born Canadian man, Sudarshan Gautam, became the first person without arms to climb Mount Everest, the Kathmandu Post reports. I have to realise it.
Xia is among the first of the hundreds of climbers who are expected to scale the world's highest mountain this month during a narrow window of good weather.
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Nepal has issued 346 permits to mountaineers for this year's spring climbing season, which runs from mid-April to the end of May.
It took Boyu more than four decades and five attempts to fulfill his dreams of climbing Everest.
According to the China Tibet Mountaineering Association, another 180 climbers are preparing to summit Everest from its north side in Tibet. "More than 500 climbers including 347 expedition members of 38 different teams have already completed acclimatization rotations to make final summit pushes on Mt Everest".
Polish climber Janusz Kochanski held the previous record for climbing the seven peaks, doing it in 126 days past year.
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