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I no longer had to worry about frostbite, says Mark Inglis

Never give up: Mark Inglis (left) shares his story at Tata Literature Live! in Mumbai on Saturday.

Never give up: Mark Inglis (left) shares his story at Tata Literature Live! in Mumbai on Saturday.  

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60-year-old double amputee, who scaled Everest, shares his motivation mantra

Mark Inglis, the first double amputee to scale Mount Everest in his first attempt on Saturday recalled how, after losing both his legs to frostbite, he found motivation in the fact that he would never have to worry about frostbite ever again.

Mr. Inglis was in Mumbai to attend the 10th edition of Tata Literature Live! - The Mumbai LitFest. The 60-year-old New Zealander, who lost both his legs to frostbite over 20 years ago, scaled the Everest on May 15, 2006. After him, Xia Boyu made five attempts at the same in 2018.

“People would see this old double amputee and feel that I could never do anything again. The biggest challenge for me was to ignore such thoughts and follow my dreams. After getting the new pair of artificial legs, I was saddened for a few days. But then, I realised I would never have to worry about getting frostbite in future expeditions. It’s not about what you think, it’s about how you think it. I have always kept a positive attitude and thus never stopped climbing even after getting artificial legs,” he said

Recalling his ordeal when he was stuck in a snow cave for 13 days with his partner Phillip Doole due to a blizzard in 1982, Mr. Ingliss said he lost 30 kgs in 324 hours. “It was only after a rescue team found us and flew us to a hospital that we realised the frostbite was so severe that both our feet had to be amputated,” he said.

Mr. Inglis went on to write a book, titled No Legs On Everest, about his experience. “The book is almost 10 years old but is as relevant today as it was when it was published. Most parts of the book were written when I was up on the mountains. About 30,000 words of the book were written in one night and it just took me 17 days to complete the whole book,” he said.

Recalling the expedition after his surgery, Mr. Inglis said, “Whenever I go to the Everest’s base camp, it feels like I am going home. It is very necessary for a mountaineer to scale the Everest in order to get some validation as a mountaineer.”

Mr. Inglis has also won a silver medal in cycling for New Zealand at the Summer Paralympics, 2000 in Sydney. “I started cycling during recovery. It definitely helped me recuperate faster. I got a silver medal in cycling in the year 2000 and in the year 2002 I successfully climbed Mount Cook in New Zealand,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 9:46:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/i-no-longer-had-to-worry-about-frostbite-says-mark-inglis/article29996998.ece

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