Hari Budha Magar is now officially the first-ever double above-the-knee amputee to reach the highest peak in the world. The former British soldier conquered Mount Everest in the hope that he could inspire others who live with disabilities to achieve their own life goals, big and small.
“If a double above-knee amputee can climb Everest, you can climb whatever mountain you face,” he said.
Magar didn’t just have to overcome the physical challenges of the world’s most rigorous climb. He joined with other mountaineers and adventurers who live with disabilities in a landmark Supreme Court case, to overturn Nepal’s ban on people with disabilities climbing the iconic mountain.
Once that was accomplished, he set about raising funds and support to complete the 8,849-metre climb.
He trained with Krish Thapa, former Chief Mountain Instructor at the SAS and world-renowned climber, to prepare for the gruelling expedition. Magar also required customised gear, including specially designed crampons, heated sockets for his stumps and short engineered prosthetic legs, to get him to the top.
“My lifetime goal is to change the perceptions people have of disability. My life changed in a blink of an eye, but whatever happens, you can still lead a fulfilling life.”
In a show of gratitude for his supporters (among them Dame Joanna Lumley, a proud patron of the expedition), Magar took with him a specially designed Summit Flag to plant at the peak, featuring the names of individuals and organisations who have championed his climb.
You can see the flag, and find out more about Magar’s journey to the Everest summit, on his website.