Hari Budha Magar, a Gurkha soldier veteran who lost both legs in Afghanistan, has made mountaineering history by reaching the summit of Mount Everest. After starting the climb on April 17, exactly 13 years since he lost his legs in an IED explosion, Budha Magar reached the top of the world's tallest mountain at 3 pm on Friday. Despite facing freezing conditions and challenging circumstances during the 18-day wait at the Everest base camp, he and his crew persevered. Due to poor weather, he was only able to spend a few minutes at the summit, as his sunglasses and oxygen mask had frozen over. With the support of a team of Nepalese climbers, led by Krish Thapa, also a former Gurkha and SAS mountain troop leader, Budha Magar became the first double above-the-knee amputee to summit Mount Everest. His accomplishment is particularly remarkable considering the hardships he faced after losing his lower legs, including battling alcoholism and depression. Budha Magar hopes to spend time with his family after descending from the mountain and plans to return to Afghanistan to express his gratitude at the site where he lost his legs.
Photo Credit: Rohit Tandon