Kent army veteran becomes the world’s first double amputee to climb Mount Everest

Hari Budha Magar at the top of Mount Everest. Credit: Sway PR

A former Gurkha soldier from Kent has become the world’s first double above-the-knee amputee to successfully climb Mount Everest.

Hari Budha Magar, 43, from Canterbury, stood victorious atop the world’s tallest mountain - a challenge he's dreamed of since he was a young boy.

Hari summitted at around 3pm on Friday 19 May, after setting off from base camp at the end of April.

Through his climb, Hari's aimed to change perceptions on disability and inspire people to climb their own ‘mountains’ no matter the adversity that stands in their way.

Hari grew up in the Nepalese mountains before serving 15 years as a Corporal with the Ghurkha Regiment of the British Army.

Devastatingly an IED in Afghanistan took both his legs in 2010 - an event he thought would shatter his lifelong dream.

Thirteen years later, having overturned a law banning disabled climbers from the mountain, Hari has achieved what many thought impossible, proving disability is no barrier to reaching the 8,849 metre peak.

Hari climbing Everest. Credit: Sway PR

At the top, Hari shouted “We did it!”, a reference to, and in recognition of the team effort that it possible.

Over a satellite phone call, made possible by NSSL Global, to his team, he added: “That was tough.

"Harder than I could have ever imagined.

"We just had to carry on and push for the top, no matter how much it hurt or how long it took.

“If I can climb to the top of the world then anyone, regardless of their disability, can achieve their dream.

“When things got really tough it was the thought of my amazing family and everyone who's helped me get onto the mountain that pushed me to the top. Without the support of so many this expedition simply wouldn't have been possible.”

With half of the team back at Basecamp, and others climbing down from camp two - the climb team will be resting before Hari departs back for the UK later this week.

Hari climbing an ice wall on Everest. Credit: Sway PR

Hari and his climb team summitted Everest 70 years after Edmund Hillary and sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first people to stand atop the world's highest peak in May 1953.

“I first planned this expedition back in 2018, but it feels a little more special to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Everest's first summit, with another world first,” Hari added.

“My big goals where simply to change perceptions on disability and to inspire other people to climb their own mountains. No matter how big your dreams, no matter how challenging your disability, with the right mindset anything is possible.”

Hari is raising money for five veteran charities including Team Forces, the Gurkha Welfare Trust, Pilgrim Bandits, Blesma, and On Course Foundation, with the aim of raising over £884,900, the height of Everest plus two zeros.

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