Former Paratrooper Becomes First Person without Legs to Scale 26,781-Foot Nepalese Mountain

by Courtney Blackann

A Russian man is proving that limits are merely mental. The man is being praised for his determination and stamina after scaling the world’s eighth highest mountain. And he did it all with no legs. Rustam Nabiev, 29, became the first person to ever scale the massive mountain with no legs, accomplishing a major goal and setting an impressive record.

According to The Week, in a 2015 accident, Nabiev was working as a paratrooper when his barracks collapsed on him and the young man lost his legs. While this would deter several, the outdoorsman took the cards that were handed to him and didn’t stop doing what he loved.

Last year, Nabriev climbed Russia’s tallest mountain, Mount Elbrus. But he knew even with that accomplishment in his back pocket, there was more work to be done. He decided he wanted to push himself even further – and planned his journey up the 26,781-foot Nepalese mountain Mount Manaslu. For reference, major jetliners travel at an altitude of 23,000 to 30,000 feet.

In its entirety, the journey took a grueling 34 days. Assisted only by his gear, Nabiev pulled himself up the mountain using his arms. He was also assisted by a group of sherpas.

“It was like a mission that I had to finish for all those people who were watching me,” Nabiev said. “With this act I wanted to show that anything in this life can be accomplished through action.”

The exhausting trip made the Russian man feel completely spent. But it was in a good way, he said. His body was weak from the trek, but he never felt more accomplished.

“I thought a great deal about what I’ve accomplished and I realized that I did something unbelievable,” he said. “Deep inside I can’t even believe it.” 

Mountain Climber Makes Quite a Fashion Statement

In a different kind of feat, a Colorado woman decided to push herself to try something new in mountain climbing. However, it wasn’t setting a time record or climbing somewhere new to her.

Erin Ton made waves when she decided to climb 57 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot mountains – in heels. Yes, really. Though the experienced hiker had climbed the mountains before, she wanted to prove to herself she could do it in a sleek pair of high heels.

“I thought it would be a fun celebration to hike Elbert again, but do it in high heels,” Ton said, speaking of her first climb of Mount Elbert. “It’s kind of a full-circle thing.”

The 22-year-old received a lot of attention during her trek, but she didn’t mind – the Cornell University graduate said it was just something fun she wanted to prove to herself.