Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

Climber who lost his feet to frostbite summits Mount Everest decades after his first attempt

When Xia Boyu reached the top of Mount Everest on Monday, it was the culmination of a journey that began decades ago.

The Chinese climber was in his mid-20s when he first tried to scale Mount Everest more than 40 years ago, but before he could make it to the top, he was stopped by bad weather. He lost his feet to frostbite, and about 20 years ago, he lost his legs beneath the knee to lymphoma, NPR reports.

Despite the setbacks, Xia said he never gave up on his dream to summit Mount Everest. He tried three more times, unsuccessfully — in 2014 and 2015, the climbing seasons were canceled, and in 2016, he was almost to the top but had to turn back because of bad weather. Nepal's high court recently struck down the government's move to ban double amputees from climbing mountains inside the country unless they had written permission from a doctor, and Xia said he was once again spurred to try to scale Everest. "Climbing Mount Everest is my dream," he told Agence France-Presse before heading back last month. "I have to realize it. It also represents a personal challenge, a challenge of fate."

Xia reached the top early Monday morning with a team of climbers and Sherpas, becoming at least the second double amputee to summit Everest, after Mark Inglis of New Zealand, who set the record in 2006.