70-year-old double amputee successfully climbs Mount Everest

70-year-old double amputee successfully climbs Mount Everest

'Climbing Mount Everest is my dream.

In 1975, Xia lost both feet to severe frostbite after giving a sick teammate his sleeping bag during a failed Everest bid while on the Chinese national mountaineering team.

During his previous attempts in 2014, 2015 and 2016, Xia's unsuccessful tries to beat Everest were scuttled by a series of natural disasters, including an avalanche, a 7.8-magnitude quake and a blizzard that forced him to turn back just 300 feet from the summit, according to Time.

"I know that I can succeed with new achievements only by overcoming difficulties", Xia was quoted as saying. Finally, on Monday morning, he reached the 8,848-meter summit on his fifth attempt. However, three months later, Nepal's high court overturned the ban citing discrimination against disabled people. The first record of double amputee on Everest is held by Mark Inglish from New Zealand. The Chinese climber had been in his mid-20s, serving in an expedition that came close to the peak before it unraveled under the force of high-altitude storms.

This year hundreds are expected to make it to Everest's summit, 65 years after New Zealander Edmund Hillary and sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first to reach the top of the world. In 2016, a blizzard forced him to return while he was 200 feet away from the summit. A year later, Nepal suffered an 8.1 magnitude natural disaster. I have to realise it.

And on Monday, Xia finally achieved that dream.

Dawa Futi Sherpa of Imagine Trek and Expedition, which organized the climb and accompanied him up the mountain, told The Washington Post that Xia completed the climb with several other members of his team.

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Xia reached the peak on Monday only a few minutes after Plain, from Western Australia, became the fastest person to climb the "seven summits" - the tallest mountains on all seven continents including Antarctica's Mount Vinson.

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

His son proudly took to social media to say his father had reached the summit.

In the 117 days that followed he summited Mount Aconcagua in South America (6,961m), Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa (5,895m), Puncak Jaya (4,884m) in Papua province, Indonesia, Mount Elbrus in Europe (5,642m) and Denali in North America (6,190m).

Climbers try to minimise the time they spend in the aptly named "Death Zone" - an area above 8,000 metres on Everest where there is less than a third of the oxygen found at sea level.

Plain, the Australian climber, complained of long queues on the way to the summit.

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