Hari Budha Magar wants to fulfill his Everest dream

Hari Budha Magar (on the summit of Mera Peak)
Hari Budha Magar (on the summit of Mera Peak)

70 years after its first ascent, Mount Everest is no longer an exclusive mountain. It has been scaled over 11,000 times since New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the world’s highest point at 8,849 meters on 29 May 1953. For the anniversary year, the Nepalese government has already (as of 28 April) sold more climbing permits to foreign climbers than ever before: 466. So it’s going to be crowded on the normal route through the Khumbu Icefall, the Western Cwm (the “Valley of Silence”), via the Lhotse flank to the South Col at just below 8,000 meters and then up to the summit. Hari Budha Magar has waited a long time to be able to join the ranks of the summit contenders on the highest mountain on earth.

Successful in court

Mount Everest
Mount Everest

Five years ago, the Nepalese had already wanted to climb Mount Everest – with bottled oxygen and Sherpa support. But in early 2018, the Nepalese government decided to stop issuing Everest permits to double-amputee climbers, blind people and even solo climbers. Hari, as a soldier in the British Gurkha Regiment, had lost both legs above the knees in a 2010 bomb blast in Afghanistan. Along with others, he sued in the Supreme Court – and succeeded: In March 2018, Nepal’s highest court overturned the controversial rule.

Mont Blanc, Kilimanjaro, Mera Peak

Hari Budha Magar in the Khumbu Icefall
Hari in the Khumbu Icefall

Hari postponed his plan to 2019, later to 2020. Then the COVID-19 pandemic threw a spanner in his works. Now everything – including funding – is finally falling into place for him, so he wants to put his plan to climb Mount Everest into action this spring. In the meantime, the Nepalese has stood on the summits of Mont Blanc (4,810 m), Kilimanjaro (5,895 m) and Mera Peak (6,476 m), among others. Hari climbed the latter mountain in Nepal (with his helpers) on 16 April for the second time after 2017 – to acclimatize for Everest.

“I hope my journey of this expedition will send hope, positive vibes and optimism around the world,” Hari wrote on Instagram yesterday from Everest Base Camp. The 42-year-old is upfront about his disability: “If I had the opportunity to bring my legs back today, I would actually decline. It was only after losing them that I found my true self, the real Hari Budha Magar.”   

20 Everest summit successes by handicapped people

The number of disabled climbers on Everest is statistically negligible. By 2022, according to the Himalayan Database, a total of only 34 climbers (one of them a woman) with handicap had attempted to scale the highest mountain on earth – with all types of disabilities being grouped together here. 20 of them reached the summit, the most recent being Andrea Lanfri, an double amputee climber from Italy, in spring 2022. It goes without saying that the disabled climbers needed the support of others. But after all, that is now the case for almost all summit aspirants on Mount Everest.

Summit success reported from the eight-thousander Shishapangma

The Climbalaya team that climbed Shishapangma
The Climbalaya team that climbed Shishapangma (in the background).

“We have finally reached the summit of Shishapangma in Tibet, it’s been a very very long and hard way up here. I’m very happy,” Kristina Harila told her team back home via satellite phone after reaching the highest point of the mountain located in Tibet at 8,027 meters today.

It was the 13th eight-thousander for the 37-year-old Norwegian. In 2022, she had had to abandon her plan to climb all 14 eight-thousanders – with bottled oxygen, Sherpa support, on the normal routes – in the same year. The Sino-Tibetan authorities had closed Shishapangma and Cho Oyu to foreign climbers because of the COVID-19 pandemic and made no exception for Harila. This year, she plans to attempt her project again – in her own words, without bottled oxygen, in less than six months. It is not yet known whether she climbed without a breathing mask on Shishapangma.

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Mount Everest: Permit record, ropes fixed to the South Col

Sunrise on Mount Everest
Sunrise on Mount Everest (in fall 2019)

Mount Everest remains a crowd puller. Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism issued permits for 454 foreign climbers to the world’s highest mountain so far this spring season (as of 21 April) – already more than ever before. Most of them come from China (96), the second most from the USA (87). Since a permit costs $11,000, this has already flushed around five million U.S. dollars into the Nepalese government’s coffers.

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Manaslu: Felix Berg succeeds in reaching the summit

Manaslu in the first dailight
Manaslu (in 2007)

The German mountaineer Felix Berg has, in his own words, scaled the 8,163-meter-high Manaslu in western Nepal – alone and without bottled oxygen. This was reported to me by his home team of the expedition operator Summit Climb.

The 42-year-old climbed from base camp to Camp 2 at about 6,300 meters on Monday, it said. The following night, Felix set off at 1 a.m. local time and reached the summit after 15 hours – in whiteout. At 9:30 p.m. he was back at Camp 2. The descent was difficult due to storm, snowfall and poor visibility. Yesterday, Wednesday, Berg returned safely to the base camp.

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Annapurna I: Indian climber Anurag Maloo found

Anurag Maloo
Anurag Maloo

It is a small miracle. According to consistent reports from Nepal, the Indian climber Anurag Maloo, missing since Monday on the eight-thousander Annapurna I in western Nepal, was found and rescued today in a crevasse at about 5,800 meters. The 34-year-old was flown by helicopter to a hospital in the city of Pokhara and then on to a clinic in Kathmandu.. “He is in a critical condition, but he is alive,” Sudhir Maloo, the climber’s brother, said in a short video shared on social media.

The rescue team from Nepalese expedition operator Seven Summit Treks was led by Chhang Dawa Sherpa. Polish climbers Adam Bielecki and Mariusz Hatala, who had planned this spring to open a new route through the Northwest Face of Annapurna I along with German Felix Berg, also participated in the rescue operation.

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Annapurna I: Noel Hanna dead, Baljeet Kaur rescued, Anurag Maloo still missing

Noel Hanna
Noel Hanna (1967-2023)

Joy and sorrow can be very close together on the eight-thousanders. On Monday, the news was still spreading that Noel Hanna had become the first climber from the Irish island to scale the 8,091-meter-high Annapurna I. Today, a representative of Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism announced that the 56-year-old Northern Irishman had been found dead in Camp 4 at around 7,100 meters. According to reports, Hanna had climbed without bottled oxygen during his ascent.

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Annapurna I: More summit successes – and a missing climber

Annapurna I, seen from Poon Hill
Annapurna I (l.)

For the third day in a row, commercial expedition operators today reported summit successes from Annapurna I in western Nepal. Among those who reached the summit this Monday – with bottled oxygen and Sherpa support – were two more representatives of Pakistan’s young generation of climbers.

Naila Kiani became the country’s first woman to stand on Annapurna I. For her, it was the fourth eight-thousander after Gasherbrum I (in 2021), K2 and Gasherbrum II (both in 2022). Naila, a former amateur boxer, studied aerospace engineering in the UK and later worked as a banker in Dubai. She has lived in the Gulf state for years with her husband and their two young daughters. This spring, she plans to attempt to climb Mount Everest and Lhotse after Annapurna.

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Lama Seru, builder of trekking trails in the Khumbu, is dead

Pasang Lama Sherpa aka Lama Seru
Pasang Lama Sherpa aka Lama Seru

He was a legend of the Khumbu, the region around Mount Everest. Pasang Lama Sherpa, probably better known to most as Lama Seru, died yesterday in Namche Bazaar. Information about his age varied – at the time of his birth, no birth lists were kept in the region around Mount Everest. But Lama Seru is believed to have been in his mid-80s.

Anyone who has hiked from Namche Bazaar, the main village of the Khumbu, to Tengboche Monastery or on to Everest Base Camp in the past four decades is likely to have encountered Lama Seru. Or at least passed his table, where his blue padlocked donation box stood, with a list next to it for donors to sign.

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Summit successes reported from Annapurna I

Base Camp at the foot of Annapurna I
Annapurna I

The first summit successes of the spring climbing season on the eight-thousanders in Nepal and Tibet are reported from Annapurna I. According to The Himalayan Times newspaper, about 20 members from teams of the commercial operators Imagine Nepal, Seven Summit Treks and Elite Exped reached the highest point at 8,091 meters today – almost all probably with bottled oxygen. A Sherpa team had secured the route to the summit with fixed ropes.

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Mourning for the three Sherpas missing on Mount Everest


There is still no trace of the three Sherpas from the team of the expedition operator Imagine Nepal, who have been missing since the collapse of a serac in the Khumbu Icefall this Wednesday. The search for them has been unsuccessful so far. There is no longer any hope that they can be recovered alive from the ice masses. The authorities therefore declared Da Chhiri Sherpa, Pemba Tenzing Sherpa and Lakpa Rita Sherpa dead. The best known of the three missing in the mountaineering scene is 31-year-old Pemba Tenzing.

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Mount Everest: Three missing after accident in Khumbu Icefall

Khumbu Icefall
Dangerous Khumbu Icefall

Although the spring climbing season on Mount Everest has not yet really begun, the first accident is already reported from the highest mountain on earth. According to information from Nepal’s Everest Chronicle portal, a serac collapsed early this morning on the route through the dangerous Khumbu Icefall. Three Sherpas, who were supposed to bring material to Camp 2 at an altitude of about 6,400 meters, were missing, it said. It is possible that they were washed into a crevasse by the ice masses.

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Summit attempt on Annapurna announced

Northwestern view of Annapurna (the main summit on the left)

“Summit Push Time,” writes Mingma Gyalje Sherpa, head of the Nepalese commercial expedition operator Imagine Nepal, on Instagram. The picture shows him in a helicopter on his way back to the 8,091-meter-high Annapurna I in western Nepal. The Sherpa team, which secures the normal route with fixed ropes for the commercial teams, had already reached Camp 3 at around 6,400 meters some time ago. Then, however, snowfall and the associated high avalanche danger had made a summit attempt impossible. In the next few days, stable, dry weather with little wind is expected, only on the weekend there should be some snow showers again.

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After all, Tibet permits for Kristin Harila and Co. for Shishapangma and Cho Oyu

The Climbalaya team for Cho Oyu and Shishapangma
The Climbalaya team has already arrived in Tibet

It has been speculated for days, now it is official: The Chinese-Tibetan authorities have granted permits for the first time in three years to an expedition with foreign mountaineers for the eight-thousanders Cho Oyu and Shishapangma located in Tibet. The team of the Nepalese operator Climbalaya includes as clients the Norwegian Kristin Harila and her compatriot Matias Myklebust, who accompanies her as a photographer and filmmaker, as well as the Swiss Sophie Lavaud and the Mexican Viridiana Alvarez Chavez.

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Everest region authorities restrict helicopter transports

Helicopter takes off from Syangboche Airfield above Namche Bazaar
Helicopter takes off from Syangboche Airfield above Namche Bazaar

The local authorities of the region around Mount Everest are currently not shying away from conflict. As reported, the Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality does not want to abide by the Nepal Tourism Board’s new nationwide rule that trekkers going alone must hire a guide or porter. And Khumbu authorities are now also messing with expedition operators.

They have banned the practice, which has been common for years, of having expedition material transported to Everest Base Camp by helicopter. For the time being, the airfield in Syangboche, located above the Khumbu capital Namche Bazaar, is the final destination for most of the equipment this season. Only very bulky and heavy items such as large tables are to be flown to the base camp by helicopter, according to the regional administration. The rest is to be carried by porters or yaks to the foot of the highest mountain on earth. That would take several days – if enough porters and yaks are available at all.

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