Australian, Chinese double amputee summit Everest

File – Double amputee climber Xia Boyu at base camp before he leaves for Camp I

File – Double amputee climber Xia Boyu at base camp before he leaves for Camp I

A 69-year-old Chinese man, who had both lower legs amputated through frostbite after trying to climb Mount Everest over 40 years ago, has finally successfully scaled the world's highest peak. With AP Photos.An expedition organizer says an Australian mountaineer has scaled Mount Everest to become the fastest to climb the highest peaks on all seven continents.

When Xia Boyu first attempted Everest in 1975, he was 27 years old.

Xia Boyu, a 69-year-old hit by frostbite on Everest more than four decades ago, and Steve Plain, who was almost paralysed by an accident four years ago, were among the first to summit the world's highest mountain.

Speaking from the summit this week, Xia was quoted by the People's Daily telling a friend he had been preparing for the moment for 43 years. The Nepal supreme court said the order was discriminatory and stayed it in March. Shortly before the New Year, Nepal's government sought to ban double amputees, along with solo and blind climbers, from scaling all of the mountains within its borders unless they could obtain a doctor's written permission.

To Xia, reaching the summit "represents a personal challenge, a challenge of fate", he told Japan Times in April.

Within weeks, Xia applied for his climbing permit.

Steve Plain, 36, from Albury, Australia, reached the 8,850-metre (29,035-foot) peak of the world's tallest mountain after climbing more than seven hours from the final camp, at the 8,000 m (26,246-foot) South Col, to claim the record.

And on Monday, Xia finally achieved that dream.

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Bad weather forced him to turn back during his previous attempt in 2016 when he was just 200 metres from the summit.

Dawa Futi Sherpa of Imagine Trek and Expedition, which organized the climb and accompanied him up the mountain, told The Washington Post that Xia completed the climb with several other members of his team. Another climb the following year was aborted after the Nepal quake. "I have to realise it", he said.

The six other highest peaks are Denali (North America), Elbrus (Europe), Vinson (Antarctica), Aconcagua (South America), Kilimanjaro (Africa) and Papua New Guinea's Carstensz Pyramid (Australasia/Oceania).

Plain, 36, from Perth, climbed Mount Vinson in Antarctica on January 16.

"My Dad reached Everest at 8:26Nepal time!".

"He has set the record of climbing Seven Summits in the shortest time of 117 days", said Ishwari Paudel, an official of the Himalayan Guides hiking company that handled logistics for the climber.

Plain, the Australian climber, complained of long queues on the way to the summit.

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