A former Gurkha who lost both of his legs in an IED blast in Afghanistan said he is going to fight the decision to ban double-amputees from climbing Mount Everest.
Hari Budha Magar was due to attempt his childhood-dream of climbing the mountain in April, but last week discovered the Nepalese tourism ministry had brought in new restrictions.
The new rules prohibit blind people as well as double-amputees from climbing the mountain.
Hari, who now lives with his wife and children in Canterbury, Kent, spoke to Forces TV from Muktinath, Nepal where he is currently training:
“I’ll look at all of the options – if I need to climb from Tibet I’ll do that, if I need to go to the courts I’ll do that. I’ve already proven that I can climb. I believe in myself from the bottom of my heart, it’s five years climbing, and it’s my dream.”
After 18-months of training, Hari is confident he can reach the peak of Everest and says he has a specialist rescue team if needed, and believes the system they are putting in place will actually improve the safety standards for future climbers.
He recently earned a World Record for becoming the first double-amputee-above-the-knee to climb over 6,000 meters when he tackled Mera Peak in Nepal, something he says people doubted he could do.
The Nepalese Government said they have brought the new changes in to reduce the number of deaths on the mountain.
According to the Himalayan Database since 1953 there have been 29 people with disabilities who have attempted the climb, of these, 15 have reached the top. Two of the climbers died on the mountain.
Of those climbing without a disability, 288 people have died on the mountain out of 8,306 climbers.
Hari has vowed to find a way to obtain a permit to climb Everest because he says climbing the mountain is not just about the climb it is about proving to people, with and without disabilities that anything is possible.
“If you can’t risk or push your boundary, explore and reach your maximum potential, you can’t make difference in others life. I believe I have right and freedom whatever I want to do as long as I don’t take away other’s right and freedom,” says Hari.