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Meet Zhang Hong, First Blind Asian To Scale Mount Everest

Zhang Hong

Somebody has rightly said that if you are determined, nothing is impossible. Time and again, people with exceptional willpower have reinstated the aforementioned statement and have risen above the challenges and struggles of life. One such man is Zhang Hong, the first blind Asian to scale Mount Everest, combating the extraordinary challenges of the world’s highest mountain. 

Everything, including extreme weather conditions, lack of oxygen, avalanches, and fatigue will try to stop you from reaching Everest’s peak. Still, the greatest battle is the fight with your own mind.

A 46-year-old Chinese man with no eyesight has climbed up to 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. He completed the 8,849 meter-high Himalayan feat on May 24 along with three high altitude guides and returned to the base camp on Thursday.

First Blind Asian To Scale Mount Everest

Hong took Twitter to share the news of the expedition and the journey which will inspire the generation to come.  

I summited Everest!

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

— Blind Mountaineer Zhang Hong 张洪 (@Zhang_Hong_76) May 25, 2021

“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.

In one of the tweets, he shared he is seen scaling up the snow-laden mountains through a video, “I’m blind, but at least I‘m not afraid of heights,” he tweeted. 

#Everest2021 Climbing — Day 28

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

— Blind Mountaineer Zhang Hong 张洪 (@Zhang_Hong_76) April 28, 2021

Born in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing, Zhang lost his sight at the age of 21 due to glaucoma. The historic achievement comes after decades of penance looking after his father and uncle, who both lost their sight in rural Chongqing. Zhang spent much of the proceeding years working as a masseur with his wife in a hospital.

Mount Everest

Inspired by Erik Weihenmayer, a blind American mountaineer who scaled Everest in 2001, Hong began training under the guidance of his mountain guide friend Qiang Zi. Talking about his time of training, Zhou said, “I was 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.” He added, “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,” according to a media report. 

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