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Chinese Double Amputee Climbs Mount Everest

A 70-year-old Chinese mountaineer who lost both legs to frostbite while attempting to climb Mount Everest four decades ago has successfully climbed the mountain in his fifth attempt.

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Everest. Image source: Wikimedia Commons

A 70-year-old Chinese mountaineer who lost both legs to frostbite while attempting to climb Mount Everest four decades ago has successfully climbed the mountain in his fifth attempt.

Xia Boyu, 70, reached the top of the world’s highest peak at 8.40 a.m. on Monday, becoming the first double leg amputee to accomplish the feat from the Nepal side, said Tourism Ministry official Gyanendra Shrestha from Everest Base Camp, the Kathmandu Post reported on Tuesday.

More than 50 other climbers also succeeded in scaling the summit, said the official.

The same day Steve Plain, an Australian, also reached the Everest, setting a speed record for climbing the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents.

Xia was part of a 20-man Chinese Everest expedition mission that tried to scale the 8,848 metre peak in 1975. However, about 200 metre from the top the climbers were forced to turn back due to high-altitude storms.

That time Xia suffered severe frostbite and lost both his legs. He returned to Mount Everest in 2014, but an avalanche killed 16 Nepali high-altitude guides that time, forcing the expedition to call off its summit bid.

US clothing brand Gap has apologised for selling T-shirts which it said showed an "incorrect map" of China.
Accurate Map of China, Pixabay

He was back in 2015, but again the climbing season was abandoned when a powerful earthquake struck Nepal on April 25, killing 20 on the Everest.

Xia made his last attempt in 2016 but bad weather forced him to turn back. His dream was nearly shattered after the government amended the Mountaineering Expedition Regulation in December, prohibiting double amputees, persons without arms and legs and blind persons from attempting to climb mountains in Nepal.

However, disability advocacy groups filed a petition in the Supreme Court, arguing that the government had violated the rights of differently-abled people and the UN convention on the rights of people with disabilities.

Subsequently, the court overruled the controversial government ban in March, allowing Xia to fulfil his four-decade-old dream.

Xia was quoted by the People’s Daily telling a friend earlier this week that he had been preparing for the moment for 43 years.

Also Read: A long road home: The persecution of Chinese-Indians

“It’s not been easy for me to reach the peak of Mount Everest which I’ve dreamed of.”

He is the second double amputee to climb the Everest after New Zealander Mark Inglis, who reached the peak from the Tibetan side in 2006, the Guardian reported.

Santiago Quintero, who had half of each foot amputated during a climb in south America, also reached the peak in 2013. (IANS)

Next Story

Chinese Researchers Spot Monster Black Hole Bigger Than Sun

Chinese team spots monster black hole which is 70 times bigger than Sun

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Black Hole
A team of Chinese scientists spotted a black hole that is 70 times larger than the sun. (Representational Image Only). Wikimedia Commons

A team led by Chinese researchers has spotted a monster black hole with a mass 70 times greater than Sun — toppling the earlier assumption that the mass of an individual black hole in our Galaxy is no more than 20 times that of Sun.

Our Milky Way Galaxy is estimated to contain 100 million stellar black holes — cosmic bodies formed by the collapse of massive stars and so dense even light can’t escape.

The team, headed by Professor LIU Jifeng of the National Astronomical Observatory of China of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), spotted a stellar black hole with a mass 70 times greater than the Sun.

The monster black hole is located 15 thousand light-years from Earth and has been named “LB-1” by the researchers in a paper reported in the journal Nature.

“Black holes of such mass should not even exist in our Galaxy, according to most of the current models of stellar evolution,” said LIU.

“We thought that very massive stars with the chemical composition typical of our Galaxy must shed most of their gas in powerful stellar winds, as they approach the end of their life. Therefore, they should not leave behind such a massive remnant,” he explained.

Spotting black hole
The monster black hole is located 15 thousand light-years from Earth. (Representational Image Only). Wikimedia Commons

Until just a few years ago, stellar black holes could only be discovered when they gobbled up gas from a companion star.

The vast majority of stellar black holes in our Galaxy are not engaged in a cosmic banquet, though, and thus don’t emit revealing X-rays.

As a result, only about two dozen Galactic stellar black holes have been well identified and measured.

To counter this limitation, LIU and collaborators surveyed the sky with China’s Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST).

After the initial discovery, the world’s largest optical telescopes – Spain’s 10.4-m Gran Telescopio Canarias and the 10-m Keck I telescope in the US – were used to determine the system’s physical parameters.
The results were nothing short of fantastic: a star eight times heavier than the Sun was seen orbiting a 70-solar-mass black hole, every 79 days.

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The direct sighting of LB-1 proves that this population of over-massive stellar black holes exists even in our own backyard.

“This discovery forces us to re-examine our models of how stellar-mass black holes form,” said LIGO Director Professor David Reitze from University of Florida in the US. (IANS)