After conquering Mt Everest, US combat amputee says he wanted to inspire others

KATHMANDU June 05, 2016: The US Marine Corps veteran, who became the first combat amputee to reach the summit of Mt Everest this season, said he wanted to inspire others to never give up as nothing was impossible if one has perseverance.

“It’s about inspiring others to never give up and honouring my brothers in arms who didn’t make it back from the war,” Thomas Charles ‘Charlie’ Linville said while sharing his experience with THT after returning from the world’s highest peak.

The 30-year-old stood atop the summit with prosthesis on May 19. “It’s bigger than me and my own journey after losing a leg,” he said. According to him, he had to conquer his own demons that he had from the war and losing his leg. “Conquering Everest allowed me to do that,” he added.

Born in Idaho, the US veteran was seriously wounded in an improvised explosive device attack in Afghanistan while his team was responding to an IED detonation in 2011. The father of two lost his right foot to a below-knee amputation in 2013 after going with multiple experimental surgeries for nearly two years.

“My next plan is to serve my wife and kids and be a proud husband and father and teach my kids the same thing I learned from climbing Mount Everest. That’s that nothing is impossible if you put in the work,” the mountaineer said.

“No matter what country they serve is to never regret serving and honouring your country and I am proud to have served my country and would do it again,” Linkville said, in his message to other veterans.

The founder of The Heroes Project, Tim Medvetz, said Linville agreed to come on board with the nonprofit veteran project to climb Mt Everest in spring of 2014. With reaching atop the roof of the world from the northern side, Linville completed the last of The Seven Summits, he added.

Tim also climbed Mt Everest with Linville this season acknowledging the Nepal-based company that helped them achieve this feat.

“I felt very strongly about using a Nepali company as opposed to a western company and I feel more westerners should consider hiring local companies in spite of all the tragedies Nepal has experienced in the past two years,” Tim, who also hosts NatGeo’s ‘Going Wild’ adventure series, said. “Let’s help rebuild Nepal!”

“Nepali Sherpas backbone of Mt Everest climbing”

KATHMANDU June 05, 2016: Chad Jukes, the second combat amputee who climbed the world’s highest mountain, has hailed Nepali Sherpas as the backbone of Mt Everest climbing.

Jukes conquered Mt Everest on May 24 from Tibet side. “None can even think of summiting Mt Everest without support from Sherpas,” he said, after returning from the summit.

Talking to THT in Kathmandu, Jukes expressed his hope that he would return to Nepal soon to work with the Khumbu Climbing Centre, which provides climbers and Sherpas with top-notch mountaineering training.

The 32-year-old Staff Sergeant (Rtd) lost his right leg in a roadside bomb attack in Iraq while serving in the US Army in 2006. According to him, he climbed Mt Everest commemorating the 10th anniversary of the horrific incident.

“I have done it to pay respect to our veterans,” Jukes said. According to him, he would lobby with the politicians in the US to raise the issues of veterans.

“Once I return to Colorado, I will start lobbying with politicians for the wellbeing of thousands of veterans struggling with the post-traumatic stress disorder,” he added.

Jukes recalls the Everest expedition as “challenging as well as amazing”.

The descent was quite challenging due to changing weather pattern, he said.

Jukes had summited Mt Lobuche in 2010.

Jukes was part of a 10-member SummitClimb expedition team sponsored by US Expeditions and Explorations while the organisation aims to spread awareness about military suicides and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mt Everest Day marked honouring brave Sherpas

KATHMANDU: The government on Sunday honoured nine Sherpa climbers who first stood atop the Mt Everest this season, amidst a function on the occasion of the ninth International Mt Everest Day.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli honoured members of the summit rope-fixing team including Gyalzen Sherpa, Gyalzen Dorjee Sherpa, Ang Pemba Sherpa, Nima Tshering Sherpa, Pasang Tenzing Sherpa, Mingma Sherpa, Mingma Chhiri Sherpa, Pasang Dorjee Sherpa and Lhakpa Tshering Sherpa with the cash prize of Rs 50,000 for each.

Prime Minister Oli also congratulated the Mt Everest summiteers expressing his commitment to support the country’s tourism sector which was hit hard by multiple disasters in the last two years.

The Sherpas performed the job of rope fixation putting their lives in jeopardy and their achievement was reflected in the successful ascent of Mt Everest by more than 400 climbers in the spring season, according to Ang Tshering Sherpa, President of Nepal Mountaineering Association.

The expeditions on the Mt Everest were unable to succeed in 2014 and 15. But, this year, more that 400 national and foreign summiteers successfully climbed the world’s highest peak.

A dispute on the Mt Everest in 2013, an avalanche in 2014 – which killed 16 Nepali Everest climbers – and the 2015 earthquake had put Nepal’s mountain tourism in very critical condition.

“But this year’s successful expeditions erased all these things and helped mountain tourism to reposition almost in the previous stage,” Sherpa said, adding that it was worthwhile to mention about the contribution of nine summit rope-fixing team of Sherpa climbers, who fixed the rope from the South Col (8000 m) to the summit of Mt Everest (8848 m), becoming the first to reach the summit point in the season on May 11.

On the occasion, Everest climbers, rope-fixing team coordinators, Expedition Operator Association of Nepal and Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee were also honoured for their contribution in making the season’s climbing a success. The Mt Everest Day celebration has been a significant occasion for the promotion of Nepal’s mountain tourism after the devastating earthquake and the economic blockade, organisers of the event said.

Earlier, a morning procession was organised from Thamel to Bhrikuti Mandap where ministers, climbers, tourism entrepreneurs and government officials among others were also present. Nepal celebrates May 29 as the International Mt Everest Day marking the first successful ascent of the world’s highest peak by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in 1953.