Nepalese authorities have been ordered to reverse a climbing ban issued last year, clearing the way for a former British Gurkha soldier to become the first above-the-knee double amputee to climb Mount Everest.
In December 2017, the Nepalese government banned double amputees, blind, and solo climbers from attempting to climb its mountains, including Mount Everest, in a bid to reduce accidents.
However, this didn’t stop aspiring Everest climber and double amputee, Hari Budha Magar, from chasing his dream.
In a Facebook post at the time, the 38-year-old said the move was “discriminatory” and an “injustice,” reported the BBC.
“I will be climbing Mt. Everest whatever the cabinet decides. Nothing Is Impossible,” he said.
The new rules were challenged in the Supreme Court of Nepal by Magar’s friend and journalist, Madhav Prasad Chamlagain. On March 7, the Court ordered that the ban be overturned, reported The Himalayan Times.
“The court issued the ruling because banning people from Everest is against the spirit of our constitution,” said Kishor Paudel, an official at the Supreme Court, reported The Gulf Times.
Hari, who served with the 1st Royal Gurkha Rifles and fought along Prince Harry, lost his legs after stepping on a bomb in Afghanistan in April 2010. Nepal’s Gurkha people have served in the British army for 200 years, and have a reputation for being among the toughest soldiers in the world.
The veteran, who now lives in Kent, Canterbury, in the UK, began climbing with the support of fellow servicemen and has scaled numerous peaks including Ben Nevis and Mont Blanc, and is the only above-the-knee double amputee to summit the 6,476-meter (21246-foot) Mera Peak in Nepal.
“It’s fantastic news,” Hari said of the decision.
“I have wanted to climb Everest since I was a child because I could see the mountain from my home and heard so many stories about it.”
He is now is back on track for the Everest challenge next year, with a group called Conquering Dreams — an expert team of friends, including Royal Gurkha, U.S. Marine Corps, and Navy Seal veterans.
If all goes to plan, Hari is set to become the first bilateral above-the-knee amputee to attempt Everest.
“I am absolutely overjoyed and it shows you must never give up on your dreams but challenge yourself and always keep hope,” Hari said, reported Kent Online.
“In the past I fought the enemy but today, I fight this injury.
“I fight to re-establish my mental health and live my life fully, help inspire others, learn new skills, relying confidently on my body as it is.
“It is what I have always done,” he said.