Indian climber becomes first female amputee to scale Everest

AFP-JIJI

An Indian climber who lost her leg after she was thrown from a moving train two years ago has become the first female amputee to climb Everest, the expedition organizers said Wednesday.

Arunima Sinha, 26, from Uttar Pradesh, reached the peak Tuesday morning. “She left high camp at 6 p.m. on Monday evening and arrived at the summit at 10:55 a.m. on Tuesday,” Ang Tshering Sherpa, founder of Asian Trekking, the organizer, said.

Sinha’s guides were concerned about her slow pace until the team reached an 8,750-meter junction that climbers pass through on their way to the top of the mountain.

“But once she got to that point, she gained energy and confidence and started moving really quickly,” Sherpa said.

Two years ago, the former national-level volleyball player was shoved from a moving train by thieves when she reportedly attempted to fight them off as they tried to steal her purse. A passing train crushed her left leg, forcing doctors to amputate below the knee to save her life.

“At that time everyone was worried for me. I then realized I had to do something in my life so that people stop looking at me with pity,” Sinha told Indian TV before setting off on the climb.

Tom Whittaker, a British mountaineer, became the first person with a disability to reach the peak in 1998, after having his foot amputated following a car crash.