Double amputee British Army veteran attempts to make history with Mount Everest climb

·3-min read

A British army veteran who lost both his legs in Afghanistan is attempting to script mountaineering history in his bid to scale Mount Everest.

Hari Budha Magar, 43, a former soldier in the Gurkha regiment, is looking to become the first double, above-the-knee amputee to scale the world’s tallest mountain.

In a tweet on Monday, Mr Magar said: “After waiting patiently at basecamp (5,364m) for two weeks, for a suitable weather window, I have finally taken my first steps up Mount Everest, late Saturday evening, in a bid to make the history books.”

The former soldier said he expects the journey to the summit to take about 5-7 days, but it could take longer.

“My team and I have safely navigated our way through Khumbu Icefall located at the head of the Khumbu Glacier, and we are now resting at camp one (6,065m) before continuing up the Khumbu Valley to camp two, at approximately 6,400m,” his tweet said.

“The Icefall is considered one of the most dangerous stages of the South Col route to Everest’s summit crossing deep crevasse that can plunge hundreds of feet deep and can often stretch over 50 feet wide.”

He said wishes from his sponsors, friends and family will “fuel me through the toughest moments on the mountain”.

During the season, hundreds of foreign and Nepali climbers flock to the mountain to attempt to reach its 8,849m (29,032ft) peak.

According to his team, the former soldier’s first challenge was to navigate the Khumbu Icefall located at the head of the Khumbu Glacier en route to camp one.

His team said he had managed that and was resting before continuing up the mountain to camp two, at approximately 6,400m (21,000ft).

At least 300 climbers have died while attempting to scale the peak ever since it was first climbed by Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary in 1953.

According to his team, his ascent is very challenging.

“Without a doubt this is the most challenging ascent I have taken on,” Krish Thapa, Mr Budha Magar’s mountain guide and a former SAS mountain troop leader, was quoted as saying to the BBC.

“We have had to innovate a different approach to the climb, with a much larger climb team to ensure safety at all times.”

Mr Magar lost his legs in 2010 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED).

When he woke up after the blast, he said he felt like his “life was finished”.

The father of three has since taken up skiing, golfing, cycling and climbing and regained his confidence.

He is hoping to raise “100 times the height of Mt Everest” for five charities that have helped him, the BBC report said.