Wounded Soldier Aims To Make History First above knee amputee to train for Everest
Hari Budha Magar is an incredible human; the story of his life and his aspirations are one of a kind. As a double leg amputee, he will be attempting to climb the highest mountain in the world.
When he was 19, he joined the military of Nepal, and became was known to be a very dedicated soldier. After his selection for the Royal Gurkha Rifles (branch of Nepalese soldiers who serve for the British Army), Magar continued his career around the world filling various roles. While he served in Afghanistan, an explosive device changed his life: from that point on he would be a double amputee.
Magar’s personal motivation was clear during his military training and continued into his rehabilitation. After relearning basic processes of life, he began to push the limits and pick up many athletic hobbies. Starting back at the beginning, he has gone from learning to shower to learning to ski.
Now Magar faces arguably the biggest challenge in the world as he aims to climb Mount Everest. During his preparation for this accomplishment, he has experienced both setbacks and victories. His first experiences mountain climbing were very successful. He made his way up other mountains and gained his confidence that he could do something bigger. In 2018, a ban on all amputees was placed which barred them from obtaining a climbing permit, putting a dent in Magar’s dreams, but the ban has now been removed and he is back on track.
This summit has been completed by double amputees in the past, but Magar faces additional challenges that set him apart. The two others who have climbed Everest with artificial legs have both been below knee amputees. Magar’s amputation is above the knees meaning he has no ability to bend his leg. Known for his lighthearted manner, he describes his situation saying “You’re like a penguin.” When he climbs, he attaches prosthetics that are short and designed to grip the ground at the base. Some climbers have expressed their concerns because what is knee deep snow to them will be waist deep for Magar with these attachments.
Hari Budha Magar clearly faces challenges as he ventures forth to create history. The process of overcoming these challenges, however, is not new to him. From his poor childhood to his military achievements to the loss of his legs, Magar has hurdled over every challenge in front of him. Everest is no different; it is just something he will have to train for and work at. Magar says that to him all difficulties are the same: no matter how hard something may seem it just takes work to overcome it.