Disabled Kiwis reach Mount Everest base camp

Wellington, July 6 (IANS) Sixty years after compatriot Edmund Hillary scaled the Mount Everest, three New Zealand tetraplegics Saturday reached the base camp in the Himalayas.

Catriona Williams, Neil Cudby and Rob Creagh made the climb using hand-bikes as part of a 1,000 km ride across 10 Himalayan passes, some above 5,000 metres in altitude, reports Xinhua.

The project has been a year in the planning and has involved intensive training including with the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

The three riders are accompanied by a dozen able-bodied riders from Australia, Britain and New Zealand, including a sports doctor.

A spokesperson in Wellington, Megan Speirs, said the trio were very emotional to reach the Base Camp -- 60 years after Hillary did.

But she said their journey has not been without challenges and there were mechanical issues with one of the bikes, which meant it had to be towed by the other two riders to cross into Everest Base Camp.

Speirs said the riders also had to deal with altitude sickness.

They have raised 600,000 New Zealand dollars ($468,000) towards their goal of one million New Zealand dollars for spinal research.


Get stories like this on the Yahoo app and discover more every day.
Download it now.