Canterbury resident and former Ghurka soldier, Hari Budha Magar, has begun his journey up Mount Everest (8.848m/29.029ft) in an attempt to become the first double above the knee amputee (DAK) to reach the summit.
It wouldn’t be the first time Hari makes history. Some of his other accomplishments include Mont Blanc, Kilimanjaro, and the Mera Peak (6,476m), which made him the first DAK to summit a peak over 6,000m.
His goal is to raise £884,900 for five different charities while also raising awareness for disabilities and hoping to inspire others.
The 43-year-old and his team, led by Krish Thapa, reached the basecamp a couple weeks ago, where they waited for suitable weather conditions. Last Saturday evening they finally began their journey to the first camp.
“A bid to make the history books,” he writes on his latest social media update.
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Hari was born in 1979 in a small village in Nepal, in the foothills of the Himalayas.
At the age of 19 he joined the British army and served the Royal Ghurka rifles for 15 years.
In 2010, he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) during a patrol in Afghanistan. This tragic accident caused the loss of both his legs above the knee.
After a difficult journey toward self-acceptance, Hari found the determination to challenge the stigma around disability and inspire others to do the same.
“When I lost my legs, I thought my life was over, but only over time did I realise that I only found my true self,” he said.
“Anything is possible with adaptation, and I hope that my climb changes perceptions people may have about the capability of people with disabilities and also inspires others to climb their own mountain, whatever that might be.”
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Feature image: Ryan Bowd via haribudhamagar.com