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Australian climbs Everest, becomes fastest to scale 'Seven Summits'

18 May 2018

Four years after enduring an accident that almost left him paralysed, Aussie mountaineer Steve Plain is now the fastest person to reach the top of the tallest mountain on each of the world's seven continents, shattering the previous record by eight days.

Despite his injuries, he never abandoned the notion of reaching the summit.

The month of May, before the onset of the rainy season, is the best month for climbing Everest. "I have to realise it". The 2016 attempt brought him close to the summit before a blizzard set in.

Australian climbs Everest, becomes fastest to scale 'Seven Summits'
Australian climbs Everest, becomes fastest to scale 'Seven Summits'

Nepalese authorities moved previous year to ban double amputees - along with blind and solo climbers - from attempting to reach the summit. Still, Xia never gave up hope of setting foot on the highest point on Earth, and though an avalanche and quake put an end to planned climbs in 2014 and 2015, he made it to 300 feet from Everest's summit in 2016 before a blizzard forced his team to retreat.

The peak, first scaled by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953, can also be climbed from Tibet, where about 180 climbers are waiting to ascend. With the recent achievement, Plain has become the first person to reach the highest mountain on each of the world's seven continents.

A Twitter post from Everest Today tracked Plain and his companions, Jon Gupta and Pemba Sherpa, as they became the first foreigners to reach the 8,850-metre summit this spring season.

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Plain's record breaks the record made by Polish climber, Janusz Kochanski.

"Three and a half years ago I was lying in hospital with a broken neck and at that time set myself the goal", he wrote on Facebook after reaching the summit.

According to the Australian, Plain broke his neck in 2014 after being dumped by a wave at Perth's Cottesloe Beach.

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Plain has also been using his record attempt to raise money for charities the Surf Life Saving Association and SpinalCure Australia - two groups he has close associations with after his own injuries.

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Australian climbs Everest, becomes fastest to scale 'Seven Summits'