In May, Hari Budha Magar became the first double above-knee amputee to summit Mount Everest.
“It’s my childhood dream actually. I grew up in Nepal up to age of 19 looking up the mountain every day,” he said.
He eventually joined the British Army. While he tried to dedicate time to climbing while in the army, he didn’t have the money or time to train. In 2010, he lost both of his legs above the knee to an explosive device while in Afghanistan.
After years of recovery, training, and summiting other mountains, Magar set his sights on Mount Everest.
There was another hurdle he had to get over. In December 2017, the government in Nepal created a law banning solo climbers, double amputees and blind people from climbing Everest. Magar said the law had to be fought in court.
Fast forward to spring 2023, and Magar was sitting at the Everest base camp, waiting for the right conditions to climb.
“It took, I think the whole expedition took one month and 19 days,” he said.
“We summited very late, so 3:10 p.m., that we submitted in the afternoon. Normally people summit in the morning around 8, 9 o’clock,” he explained. “Then I started crying. At that time it was very windy with the snow and it was very cold.”
“I was so grateful,” he said.
Magar became the first double above-knee amputee to summit the world’s tallest mountain.
This wasn’t his first time attempting to summit the mountain. Before this May, Magar had tried twice before to summit the 29,029-foot elevation peak.
“I went to climb to make awareness of a disability. I dedicated my life to make awareness to my disability until I die,” he said. “We might need different equipment, we might be slightly slower, we might need slight assistance, but anything is possible.”
So what’s next for Hari Budha Magar?
“I am 43, I wouldn’t say I’m young, but I still I think I have age to do a couple more adventures and make awareness of my disability,” he said.