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Latest News 22 May 2023

Congratulations to Blesma Member Hari Budha Magar on making history!

The Gurkha veteran, who lost both of his legs in Afghanistan - has accomplished the impossible and made mountaineering history by reaching the top of Mount Everest! In doing so becoming the first double leg amputee to reach the top of the world.

Hari embarked on this monumental climb on 17 April, marking precisely 13 years since he tragically lost his legs in an IED explosion during his service in Afghanistan. Battling freezing conditions and enduring an agonizing wait of 18 days at the Everest base camp for clear weather, Hari and his courageous team witnessed the harsh realities of the mountain, including the sight of two lifeless bodies being brought down.

In a heartfelt conversation, Hari shared the grueling experience: "All of my jackets were completely freezing. It was all frozen. Even our warm water, we put hot water in the thermos, and that was also frozen and we were not able to drink.”

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Blesma Member Hari Budha Magar at the summit

Regrettably, the adverse weather conditions hampered Hari's ascent, resulting in his sunglasses and oxygen mask freezing over. Consequently, he could only spend a fleeting few minutes at the mountain's summit.

Throughout his audacious endeavor, Hari received invaluable support from a team of Nepalese climbers led by Krish Thapa, a former Gurkha and SAS mountain troop leader. Hari Budha Magar etched his name in history as the first double above-the-knee amputee to conquer the world's tallest peak.

Hari said climbing Mount Everest was harder than he could have ever imagined

Reflecting on his past struggles, Hari spoke candidly about the dark period he endured following the loss of his lower legs, grappling with alcoholism and depression. "I grew up in Nepal, up to age of 19, and I saw how the disabled people were treated in those remote villages. Many people still think that disability is a sin of previous life and you are the burden of the earth. I believed this myself because that is what I saw. That is how I grew up.

He continued, "It was a pretty hard time and at one point I was just drinking too much, to just control my pain and emotions and all the things, and I tried to kill myself a couple of times.”

Hari's dream of conquering Everest began when he was a barefoot student en route to school. His aspirations took shape, and he planned to undertake this remarkable feat in 2018. However, a ban on double amputees and blind climbers was imposed to mitigate fatalities on the treacherous peak.

Undeterred, Hari tirelessly campaigned for the ban to be lifted, determined to seize this unparalleled opportunity. His resolute efforts bore fruit, and he was granted the chance to embark on his Everest expedition.

In his own words, Hari reflected, "Without (losing my legs), I wouldn’t be climbing Everest, so and it wouldn’t even count much. Whatever happens, it happens for good.”

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Hari during his expedition to the top of Mount Everest
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Hari during his expedition to the top of Mount Everest

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