Former Gurkha Hari Budha Magar is out to show that even if you’re disabled there is no mountain – physical or mental – that you can’t climb...
He has ticked off reaching the summits of Mont Blanc, Chulu Far East, Kilimanjaro and Mera Peak and has Mount Everest in his sights for spring 2023.
What is truly remarkable is Hari is a double above-knee amputee (DAK), losing both legs after stepping on an improvised explosive device (IED) while serving with the British Army.
He is currently in Nepal on the 7,126m high Himlung Himal waiting for the right weather conditions to make an attempt on the summit – part of his preparations for the Everest climb - and sent a dramatic update from the mountain to Living with Disability:
"I am now acclimatised and waiting for the weather to improve and route to reopen. I reached up to Camp 2 and had planned to reach the summit in two days’ time, but the weather severely changed and we were faced with heavy snow and wind. As we woke up at camp, two of our tents were half buried. The heavy snow continuously fell for a week non-stop.
“We had to be rescued by Sherpas. We couldn’t call a helicopter due to the weather, so we had to climb down to Camp 1. The continuous heavy snow was waste deep, and with the strong winds made visibility very poor. We could hardly see to 10 metres.
“We stayed two nights at Camp 1 waiting to be rescued, as we were still not able to call a helicopter. We had limited food, we had a fire in the tent, 4/5 tents were completely buried and we couldn’t see anything. We dug around to find some food but no luck apart from a packet of Horlivka that had been half eaten by rats. We were in a survival situation, with limited food and water.
“Finally, we were rescued to Himlung Base Camp by Sherpas and taken to Kathmandu by Nepalese Army helicopter. Now, we are back on the mountain waiting for the route to be opened and for the weather to get better.”
Just days before his latest expedition our editor Clive Davis spoke to Hari about growing up in Nepal, his years in the British Army and the physical and mental battles he has overcome from his life-changing injuries. The full and fascinating interview will be published in next month’s magazine.