Chinese climber, 69, crippled on Everest, still dreams of conquering peak

Xia Boyu walks and climbs with the help of prosthetic lower limbs and has made repeated attempts on the world’s highest mountain

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 February, 2018, 3:25pm
UPDATED : Friday, 02 February, 2018, 3:57pm

A 69-year-old Chinese man who lost both his lower legs to frostbite climbing Everest four decades ago said he still dreams of conquering the world’s highest mountain.

Xia Boyu now has prosthetic lower limbs and has made three attempts to scale the peak since 2014, but failed due to bad weather or earthquake triggered avalanches, Legal Mirror reported.

Xia was a member of a Chinese national mountaineering team that tried to scale the mountain in 1975.

Xia was hit by bad weather about 200 metres (650 feet) below the top during the climb and he gave his sleeping bag to another mountaineer suffering at altitude. Xia got frostbite as the climbers made their way back down the mountain.

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Xia, who now lives in Beijing, spent years afterwards in rigorous training to allow him to walk and climb, even overcoming lymphoma, a form of blood cancer, in 1996, the report said. 

His training included getting up at 4am, working on his strength and stamina to climb with artificial limbs. 

His fitness allowed him to take part in an ice climbing tournament in Beijing only last month.

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In 2016, Xia was forced to turn back only 94 metres from the peak during an expedition to Everest. 

His family, however, now wants him to halt his attempts to climb the peak out of concern for his age and health, but he refuses to give up, the article said. 

“I will definitely continue to try to conquer Mount Everest,” he was quoted as saying.