69-year-old Xia Boyu recently became the oldest double amputee to conquer Mount Everest. That alone is an amazing achievement, but even more impressive is the fact that he did it on his fifth attempt, the first of which had caused him the loss of both his feet as a result of severe frostbite.
Xia Boyu’s first tried to reach the top of Mount Everest in 1975, as part of an expedition backed by the Chinese Government. With only 250 meters to go from reaching the summit, the team was pinned down by bad weather which didn’t let up for two days and three nights. The long wait took its toll on the climbers, and to make sure that everyone made it back alive, the team decided to turn back and fulfil their dream another time. During the descent, Xia gave his sleeping bag to one of his colleagues who was in a worse shape than him. Unfortunately, this selfless act would cause him to lose both his feet to frostbite.