China's Zhang Hong, 46, became Asia's first blind man, and the world's third, to scale the peak from the Nepal side. Zhang Hong said that he aims to climb the highest peaks on all seven continents and then travel to the North and South Poles. Zhang Hong, 44, is only the third blind climber from anywhere in the world to reach the highest peak on the planet. Following his guides and Sherpas, he reached the summit on May 24 and returned safely to Kathmandu.
He said on Monday that he was inspired by a blind American climber, Eric Weihenmayer, who scaled Everest in 2001. A climber from Austria was the second blind person to reach the peak. Zhang became blind at 21 due to glaucoma. He has been working as a masseur at a hospital in Tibet, where he lives with his wife.
He trained for five years before climbing Everest, carrying bags packed with 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of weight up the staircase of the hospital where he works. He also climbed several smaller peaks in China.
Zhang shared the news on his Twitter handle, "I summited Everest," he wrote and went on to thank those who helped him achieve the feat. "I would like to thank my family, my guides, the folks at Fokind Hospital, and Asian Trekking, who have been extremely supportive of my journey," he wrote while adding that this was just the beginning and he has next on his list the seven-summits."
On the Everest climb, it was difficult navigating the slippery trails and moving around blocks of ice because with high winds on the mountain. Hundreds of people have attempted to climb Everest from the Nepal side in May after the government opened the mountain to foreign climbers this year. The northern side of the mountain in China is closed because of concerns about COVID-19.
Zhang said all of his teammates were vaccinated before the expedition and had a separate camp on the mountain to distance themselves from other climbers. Nepalese authorities have denied any coronavirus outbreak on Everest, but a prominent guide said there were more than 100 cases on the mountain.
Tsang Yin-Hung, 45, a former teacher from Hong Kong, became the fastest woman to scale the peak, breaking 26 hours.
According to ANI, the 45-year-old climbed the world’s highest peak from the base camp in 25 hours and 50 minutes, beating the record of 39 hours and 6 minutes set by a Nepali woman, Phunjo Jhangmu Lama. She only took two breaks between a base camp, located at 17,390 feet, to the 29,032-foot summit on May 23.
In an interview with ANI after arriving back safe from Everest and setting a record, Tsang also known as Ada, said she succeeded in her mission by challenging herself and working hard on it. "For my first time (expedition), it's definitely was for my students. I just want to show my students that if you get a really high and hard target, if you try to train step by step and yes of course there are lots of challenges and difficulties whenever you want to do something you have to just persist and never give up. Finally, you can achieve it," Tsang Yin-Hung aka Ada said.
While attempting the record speed climbing summit attempt, the Hong Kong climber had to make two brief stops owing to the bad weather and the exhaustion. "My first summit push was on 11th and 12th and of course we failed at that time. We had reached 8,500 (meters) balcony and then the heavy snow and a very strong wind started, I knew that the weather forecast had said that the weather would be really good so I thought it is an only a short time, so we just keep moving up but after two hours we reach South Summit, I knew it was impossible, I told myself inside my heart though I could see the top," Ada added.
-with ANI inputs