First blind Chinese mountaineer climbs Mount Everest

Zhang Hong completes 8,849 metre-high Himalayan feat on May 24 along with three high altitude guides


Reuters May 30, 2021
PHOTO: TWITTER/@Zhang_Hong_76

MOUNT EVEREST:

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.

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.

Read more: 19-year-old becomes youngest Pakistani to summit Everest

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.

Nepal reopened Mount Everest in April for foreigners after it was shut last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Read Nepalese K2 climbers welcomed in Islamabad

“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.”

 

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