The 46-year old Chinese Zhang Hong has scaled the tallest peak in the world from the Nepal side, becoming the first blind man in Asia and the third in the world to climb Mount Everest.
“No matter if you’re disabled or normal, whether you have lost your eyesight or you have no legs or hands, it doesn’t matter as long as you have a strong mind, you can always complete a thing that other people say you can’t,” Zhang told Reuters.
I summited Everest!— Blind Mountaineer Zhang Hong 张洪 (@Zhang_Hong_76) May 25, 2021
I would like to thank my family, my guides, the folks at Fokind Hospital, and @asiantrekking who have been extremely supportive of my journey.
This is only the beginning as I would like to climb the #SevenSummits #Everest2021
More pictures coming soon! pic.twitter.com/RlpFH29DoP
Zhang completed the 8,849 metre-high Himalayan feat on May 24 along with three high altitude guides, and returned to the base camp on Thursday.
Born in southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing, Zhang lost his sight at the age of 21 due to glaucoma.
He was inspired by Erik Weihenmayer, a blind American mountaineer who scaled Everest in 2001, and began training under the guidance of his mountain guide friend Qiang Zi.
#Everest2021 Climbing - Day 28— Blind Mountaineer Zhang Hong 张洪 (@Zhang_Hong_76) April 28, 2021
I’m blind, but at least I‘m not afraid of heights.
This our 15th day at Base Camp and we are about to set off to camp 3 through Khumbu Icefall so that we acclimate before the final ascent on Everest.
I have already checked my equipment 5 times! pic.twitter.com/3CscxvMZB8
Nepal reopened Mount Everest in April for foreigners after it was shut last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I was still very scared, because I couldn’t see where I was walking, and I couldn’t find my centre of gravity, so sometimes I would fall,” said Zhang.
“But I kept thinking because even though it was hard, I had to face those difficulties, this is one component of climbing, there are difficulties and dangers and this is the meaning of climbing.”