According to this story from the Cochrane Eagle, a climber who is missing both of his arms will attempt to climb Everest next year. Sudarshan Gautam will take on the world’s tallest mountain in an effort to raise funds for the Sam Sullivan Disability Foundation in Vancouver.
The 29-year-old Nepalese man, who now lives in Canada, lost both of his arms when he was just 13. He was flying a kite at the time, and when the kite became tangled in electrical wires, he attempted to free it by using a metal pole. The resulting electric shock severely damaged his limbs, which had to be amputated.
Since that time, he has learned to live his life without the use of arms or hands. He uses his feet for many of his daily tasks, such as writing, eating, or even steering a car. In 2005 he also climbed Yala Peak, a 5732 meter (18,805 ft.) mountain located along the border of Tibet and Nepal, using “his teeth, feet and a team of sherpas.” Sudarshan calls that “training for Mount Everest.”
The story doesn’t go into much detail on what his climbing experience beyond Yala Peak is however. That mountain is a non-technical “walk-up” that is more than 10,000 feet shorter than Everest. I’m not sure hiking to the top of Yala, six years ago no less, constitutes good training for a far taller and more technical mountain like Everest.
Still, I wish Sudarshan luck. I’d admire his spirit and sense of adventure, plus his efforts are going to a good cause. He has other plans for further adventures as well. Upon his return from the Himalaya next year, he plans to drive across Canada using nothing but his feet, in a manual transmission now less.
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