Tuesday, May 16, 2006


WELLINGTON, New Zealand - A New Zealand mountain climber who lost both his legs to frostbite has become the first double amputee to conquer Mount Everest, despite breaking one of his artificial limbs during the ascent.

The amputee, Mark Inglis, 47, called his wife, Anne, on Monday night to tell her he was standing on the summit of the 29,035-foot peak, the world’s highest mountain, the New Zealand Herald reported. b“He’s dreamed of this all his life, probably. He’s over the moon,” the the newspaper quoted Inglis’ wife as saying.

Media reports said one of Inglis’s carbon-fibber legs snapped while climbing at around 6,400 meters and he was forced to repair it with spare parts.

In 1982, Inglis lost both his legs from below the knees due to severe frostbite suffered after a blizzard trapped him and a fellow party member in a cave in New Zealand’s Mount Cook for 14 days

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark hailed Inglis’s climb. “To reach the summit of Everest is a once-in-a-lifetime achievement for any climber, but for Mark Inglis it will be even more satisfying,” she said in a statement.

Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

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