- A man in China climbed up Shandong’s tallest mountain annually while carrying his paralyzed wife on his back for 12 hours.
- The husband, Zhang Mingrong, made a promise to his wife, Kong Yan, that the two would climb Mount Taishan together and watch the sunrise, prior to Kong’s injury.
- Kong had sustained a paralzying fall while climbing over a wall in 2009 when she attempted to run away from her home to elope with Zhang, who was disapproved of by Kong’s family.
- In 2017, Zhang fulfilled his promise to Kong and climbed up Mount Taishan for 12 hours, carrying Kong on his back and trekking up the top of the mountain while on his hands and feet, “bear style.”
- The couple completed this tradition once a year from 2019 to 2021 as a symbol of their love’s strength; however, Zhang slipped during the hike in 2021 injuring his herniated disc, meaning he can no longer complete the tradition with his wife.
A Chinese husband, Zhang Mingrong, has been fulfilling a promise to his paralyzed wife, Kong Yan, by trekking up Shandong’s tallest mountain once a year while carrying Kong on his back.
When the couple first started dating, Kong’s adoptive family strongly disapproved of Zhang and believed that he would be a burden to their family since he was not wealthy and was taking care of a disabled mother and multiple siblings, reported South China Morning Post.
Unable to break up their relationship, the two made the decision to elope and planned for Kong to run away from home at night. While climbing over a wall to meet Zhang, Kong slipped and injured her spine, causing her to become permanently paralyzed.
Due to Kong’s reliance on a caretaker to support her with her daily routines, her family viewed her as a burden and agreed to let Zhang take care of her. Zhang reportedly spent his entire life savings and worked multiple jobs to support Kong’s treatments.
The couple finally married in 2013, and Kong gave birth to a son soon after and a daughter in 2018. After Kong’s health began improving, the couple decided to finally fulfill the promise that Zhang had made prior to Kong’s injury, which was to climb up Shandong’s tallest mountain, Mount Taishan, and watch the sunset.
Climbing up Mount Taishan with Kong on Zhang’s back was a way for the couple to symbolize the strength of their love and that they would go through obstacles together despite Kong’s disability.
In 2017, Zhang was determined to take his wife up Mount Taishan and carried Kong on his back with a bedsheet, climbing up the mountain on his hands and feet “bear style” for 12 hours.
Recalling their first trek up the mountain to South China Morning Post, Zhang said, “That moment when the sun began to emerge from behind the clouds, little by little, it was very beautiful and touching.”
The couple continued this tradition from 2019 to 2021 until Zhang sustained an injury while hiking up Mount Taishan in 2021. While carrying Kong, Zhang had slipped during the climb and damaged his herniated disc, ending the couple’s tradition.
Zhang told South China Morning Post, “It may be a superstition, but I think that fall was the mountain telling me not to go up there again, so our annual cimb to Mount Taishan stopped.”
Featured Image via People’s Daily, China 人民日报