A Chinese boy of 11 who lost his legs in a car accident has just failed in his attempt to climb to the top of a more than 1,100 metre-high sacred mountain – just using his arms and hands, mainland media reports.
Gao Zhiyu had been trying to reach the summit of Mount Lao, the birthplace of Taoism, in Qingdao, on the coast of the Shandong Peninsula, Qingdao Evening News reported.
He managed to reach a height of 900 metres – using wooden boxes held in his hands as “shoes” as he climbed the route made of stone steps – before giving up his attempt because of severe blisters on his hands.
“If I was given more time, I could slowly climb to the summit … next time, I must make it to the top,” Gao, from Qingdao, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
He was accompanied on his first attempt at climbing a mountain by Chen Zhou, a man who also lost both his legs in an accident.
Chen has walked to more than 700 cities on the mainland on his hands.
The self-help lecturer has also climbed to the top of more than 100 mountains, including Mount Tai and Mount Huang.
Chen said he had felt obliged to try to give Gao a little support when he heard about his planned climb up the mountain.
He said it was a shame that Gao did not make it to 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,” he said.
Bad weather during their climb, including a thunderstorm and heavy rain, had make their attempt very difficult, the report said.
The steps up the mountain were also steep and winding, and became slippery from the rain.
After they had reached a height of 500 metres the climbers both needed to take a rest after almost every turn.
The two began their climb at 9.30am on Saturday, but by 3.30pm Gao had to admit defeat because of the severe blisters on his hands.