Amputee Gurkha to climb Mount Everest

Hari Budha Magar was born in 1979 to a farming family in the hillside village of Mirul, in a very remote part of the Rolpa District of western Nepal. It isn’t difficult to see how Hari’s early schooling began to establish his character. His primary school was a 45 minute walk from his village. Like most children in the school, Hari made the trek barefoot. His secondary education was a day’s walk from his village. Finally, Hari attended college in the capital of the Rolpa District.

Hari Budha Magar

Hari Budha Magar (C) Hari Budha Magar

Military Service

At the age of 19, Hari joined the British Army, while he was studying in college. He served the Crown with the Royal Gurkha Rifles for 15 years. The Royal Gurkha Rifles has been an extraordinary part of the British Military for over 200 years, though the traditions of Gurkha warriors go back centuries. They are respected by the Special Forces establishment as some of the most dedicated and fierce fighters in the world.

Each year, thousands of Nepalese youth volunteer for the honour to become a Gurkha, 147 were accepted Hari’s year.

During the course of his career, Hari served around the world in many different countries and conflicts as a:

Covert Surveillance
Team Medic
Water Safety Officer
Explosive Safety Officer
Search Specialist
Supporting his Infantry Platoon Sergeant as a multiple 2IC Corporal
Graduating with distinction from the Assault Pioneer Platoon Sergeant Course
Serving as an instructor in both Assault Pioneer and Infantry Courses

Hari was medically discharged after losing both legs above the knee in Afghanistan in 2010.

His Injury

Hari lost both of his legs above the knee & sustained multiple injuries to an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan in April 2010. Not surprisingly, but still complicating matters, Hari suffers Post Traumatic Stress (PTS).

Still, Hari says “I am a soldier that has been trained to fight. In the past it was an enemy.  Today, I fight this injury. I fight to re-establish my mental health. I will live my life fully, help inspire others, learning new skills, relying confidently on my body as it is. It is what I have always done. I owe it to my boys, my wife, and my family. I owe it to my community. I owe it to the men I have served with. I am still Hari.”

Hari has proven that, as those who know him have come to expect.  Since his injury, Hari has:

Become a skydiver (UK and Cyprus)
Re-learned alpine skiing (USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, & Nepal)
Learned Nordic skiing in Canada
Ran a Biathlon in Canada
Won a gold medal in Archery at the U.S. Endeavor Games
Won a Bronze Medal in wheelchair Table tennis at the U.S. Endeavor Games
Re-learned Rock Climbing
Re-learned Kayaking (Germany, Austria, Cyprus, Canada, & France)
Became an avid Cyclist
Rode the 100 km Colchester to London Tour
Rode the full 63 miles in the Houston Independence Ride to raise money for disabled veterans.
Rode in the Aerofest Independence Ride in Mobile, Alabama, raising funds for disabled vets.

Re-established his Shooting Skills
Learned Golf
Joined a Wheelchair Rugby Team
Joined a Wheelchair Basketball Team
Played Sledge Hockey
Took up the Javelin

Hari says that growing up in Nepal, he has wanted to climb Mount Everest all his life. As a child, it was too expensive. As a Gurkha, there wasn’t the time. In Hari’s mind, it is finally time. He is enjoying the physical challenges of training. He has the time to prepare and acclimatize properly. He has friends that will join him.

Climbing Mount Everest

In what we have all come to call “Hari Logic,” it is time to attempt Mount Everest.  Part of Hari’s Logic is:

If we succeed, it will be recorded as a World Record that is never taken away.
If we fail, it is still a record, as we are the first Team to attempt it with a person who has a bilateral above knee amputation.
We owe it to everyone else who has lost a limb or suffered a disability, to show them it can be done.
We will do it for our brothers and sisters in the military, those we have lost, those who have been injured and those with whom we served, representing them all at the summit of that mountain.
We must do it so people younger than ourselves see what courage and determination can accomplish.

Then he asked us whether we wanted to train and climb with him – or just stay home with our televisions.

The Risk

Hari is fully aware of the risk that he is taking. His family knows too. He understands the challenges of Mount Everest and that the climb will be a struggle with every step. He is aware that he may lose other limbs from frostbite. He could wind up in a chair the rest of his life – or even not return. But Hari says, “this is my dream and I believe this is possible with the right help and support.”

Reason for wanting to climb Mount Everest

“To show the world that any disability, any hardship, can be overcome.”

Source: Conquering Dreams