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Visually-impaired Chinese climber aims to summit Everest

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Kathmandu, April 10, 2021-
Zhang Hong, a 46-year-old visually-impaired Chinese climber, is attempting to summit Mt.Everest this spring, a company organising his expedition said.

“If he manages to reach the top of Mt. Everest, he will be the first Asian visually-impaired person to scale the world’s tallest peak,” Dawa Steven Sherpa, chief executive officer of Asian Trekking, one of the leading expedition organising companies in Nepal, told Xinhua news agency on Friday.

Earlier, two visually-impaired mountaineers, American Erik Weihenmayer and Austrian Andy Holze, had reached the top of the world’s highest peak in May 2001 and May 2017, respectively.

According to Sherpa guides, the Chinese mountaineer who arrived in Nepal on March 30, set out for Mount Everest on April 3.

He has been trekking to the base camp of the mountain and is expected to reach it on Sunday.

“His team includes six Chinese and six sherpas. During the ascent of Everest, four sherpas will directly support him,” said the CEO Sherpa.

The world’s tallest peak has been a dream for many people with disabilities and some of them have already achieved their dreams by scaling the mountain.

Its height was slightly increased to 8848.86 metres when Nepali and Chinese surveyors measured and jointly announced the new height in December last year.

Sherpa said that the Chinese climber had been training hard for the last three years.

According to the Asian Trekking, he has already conquered Muztagh Ata, a 7,509-metre peak in China’s Xinjiang region two years ago.

Zhang is one of the 244 climbers who got climbing permits for Mt. Everest from Nepali authorities.

Bhisma Raj Bhattarai, mountaineering section officer at department of tourism confirmed to Xinhua that the Chinese blind climber and his team were given a permit this week.

According to the Department of Tourism, which issues climbing permits, a total of 244 climbers representing 26 groups have taken climbing permits for the Mt. Everest as of Friday.

In January 2017, the Nepali government had decided to ban double amputees, persons without arms and legs and blind persons from attempting to climb the world’s tallest peak.

But, in March the same year, the Nepal’s Supreme Court ordered not to implement the government’s restriction on people with disabilities to summit Mt. Everest.

By taking the advantage of court order, Chinese climber Xia Boyu, who lost both legs to frostbite on Mt. Everest over four decades ago, reached the summit of the world’s highest peak in May 2018. (Agency)

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