Former British Gurkha soldier Hari Budha Magar has made history by becoming the world’s first double above-the-knee amputee to climb Mount Everest. After undergoing rounds of acclimatization rotations above the base camp, Budha Magar reached the summit on May 19, marking an incredible achievement.
The expedition organizer confirmed that Hari Budha Magar stood atop the roof of the world after successfully ascending the mountain. Sources revealed that he has already descended to Camp II after reaching the summit point. Speaking about his experience, Budha Magar expressed his amazement and described it as an extraordinary journey. He mentioned that he, along with four Sherpa climbers, stood on the highest point in the world at 3:10 pm.
Hari Budha Magar, aged 43, climbed Mount Everest with the goal to raise awareness about disability and demonstrate that having a disability should not limit a person’s aspirations. Under the ‘Conquering Dreams’ Expedition, he utilized specially engineered prosthetic legs and was led by Krishna Thapa, a former Chief Mountain Instructor at the UK’s Special Air Service.
Born and raised in Thawang village in Rolpa, Nepal, Budha Magar had always dreamed of climbing mountains like Mt Dhaulagiri and Mt Sisne, which were visible from his home. However, he lost both his legs while serving in the British Army alongside Prince Harry in April 2010. The accident left him in a challenging state for nearly two years, but he gradually found the courage to overcome his obstacles.
Hari Budha Magar’s journey is not only about personal achievement; he also aims to inspire others, including physically injured individuals, and showcase the determination and courage that people with disabilities possess. Prior to his Everest expedition, he had already conquered various high-altitude locations and mountains, such as Surya Kunda in Nepal, Ben Nevis in Scotland, Mt Blanc in France, Thorong La Pass, and Mera Peak, with the help of his prosthetic legs.
From the summit of Mount Everest, Budha Magar conveyed a powerful message: disabilities should not be perceived as punishments or burdens. He believes that people with disabilities possess immense potential and should be recognized as valuable contributors to society.
Hari Budha Magar’s initial attempt to climb Mt Everest in 2018 was postponed due to a government ban on blind, double-amputee, and solo climbers. However, this ban was later lifted by a Supreme Court order in 2018, thanks to the efforts of individuals like Madhav Chamlagain, a senior journalist who fought for the rights of differently-abled individuals.
Budha Magar’s remarkable feat is a testament to the indomitable human spirit and the ability to push oneself to the limit to achieve extraordinary goals. His achievement serves as an inspiration for people around the world, proving that determination and perseverance can overcome any obstacle.