Mark Inglis is on his way to climb to the summit of Everest, here he is at about 6900m altitude, close to the NorthCol camp. What you might only notice after a close inspection is that he has no feet and that his crampons are strapped -and ducttaped- to metal replacements.
He summited a few fays later, but got criticized heavily as he was part of the large group of climbers passing a dying climber named David Sharpe. As Mark was the first one to bring the topic up, the messenger was attacked.
The discussion about what happened and should have happened is a serious and long one and this is not the place for that. I do want to stress that though the media liked to use Mark as an example of ‘how Everest has become a circus, where even handicapped people can climb’, they forget that Mark lost his legs to frostbite after being stuck in an ice cave on Mt Cook in New Zealand for many days and that sheer will and positive attitude made him come back to climbing and to enjoying life. He did not give up his passion and I applaud him for it. If one man without feet can get up the highest mountain on the world, who are we to complain about the little daily things that life throws at us?
ps: One of the funniest moments of last year’s Everest expedition happened when I just entered my tent at ABC at 6400m (21000ft). I was half asleep when I heard a strange noise outside, peeked through the half-open zipper and saw 2 bionic feet slowly passing by, anything above them was out of sight. I though it must have been the altitude presenting the Terminator to me and almost thought I lost my mind, but later I found out that Mark was on the mountain as well :-)