An 11-year-old amputee from China who lost both his legs in a car accident attempted to reach the 1,100 meter-high summit of Mount Lao recently using just his arms and hands.
A man named Chen Zhou, who also lost his legs in an accident, joined him on his first mountain-climbing attempt near the East China Sea on the southeastern coastline of the Chinese peninsula of Shandong.
Gao aided himself with wooden boxes he used as “shoes” for his hands during his climb, but the rough climb gave him painful blisters on his hands so he was forced to quit after reaching more than 80% of the route made of rocky steps.
While the brave attempt allowed the boy to reach a significant altitude of 900 meters, Gao Zhiyu was unable to fulfill his goal of reaching the very top of the sacred mountain in Qingdao, known as the birthplace of Taoism, Qingdao Evening News reported (via South China Morning Post
The determined young climber remained positive, declaring that he would be able to accomplish the feat in the future. “If I was given more time, I could slowly climb to the summit … next time, I must make it to the top,” Gao said.
His partner Chen, who is a self-help lecturer, is much more experienced, having climbed the summit of over 100 peaks such as Mount Tai and Mount Huang. He has also traveled to 700 mainland cities using his hands.
According to Chen, he immediately felt it was his duty to give Gao a little support upon learning of the boy’s intention to climb the summit.
“I don’t think he is trying to conquer nature, nor other people. All the challenges he takes on are just to conquer his own fears about his limitations,” Chen was quoted as saying.
The trail was reportedly already steep and winding and the climb was made even more treacherous by a terrible thunderstorm and heavy rain that made the steps slippery.
The climbing partners began their ascent at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, but Gao had to halt his mission by 3:30 p.m. due to his severe hand blisters.