Australia

Australian paraplegic man reaches Mount Everest base camp by 'walking on hands'

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Newcastle man Scott Doolan is the first paraplegic to make it to Mount Everest base camp with minimal assistance.

Australian Scott Doolan has become the first paraplegic to reach Mount Everest base camp with minimal assistance.

Mr Doolan reached the foot of the world's highest mountain on Tuesday after an incredible 10-day journey.

The Newcastle man used a custom-made wheelchair for the trek and the so-called "human wheelbarrow" technique - crawling his way up much of the mountain. 

Scott Doolan and his team.
Scott Doolan and his team.
Apexgen Lifestyle

"I was struggling to breathe (when I reached base camp) because I was walking on my hands but I just remember looking up and seeing a crowd of about 20 people," he told AFP.

"Once I actually got there. they all start cheering and that was pretty damn humbling."

Mr Doolan lost the use of both of his legs as a teenager in a motorcycle accident.

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Australian man attempts to become first paraplegic to climb 18,192ft to Everest Base Camp with minimal assistance
Australian man attempts to become first paraplegic to climb 18,192ft to Everest Base Camp with minimal assistance

AFP reported that on day seven of the trek, one of Mr Doolan's wheelchair wheels snapped off.

"I was pretty devastated. I was just sitting by myself on a rock, thinking how am I going to do this now," he said.

But the team found a way to fix the broken wheel and they continued on.

The team prepares in Kathmandu.
The team prepares in Kathmandu.
Apexgen Lifestyle

Mr Doolan and his team decided to undertake the trek in an attempt to "inspire others who have gone through adversity and raise awareness for mental health".

"My first thought was no way, impossible, I can't do that," Mr Doolan said before his climb. 

"However after thinking about it and talking it through with the team, I thought why not, what better way to challenge myself and influence others to rise above doubt than to climb the biggest mountain in the world."

The Boudhanath Stupa.
The Boudhanath Stupa.
Apexgen Lifestyle

"(It's) a dream come true, achieving something that seems almost impossible."

Mr Doolan is now setting his sights on his next challenge - swimming for Australia at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

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