May 23, 2011 / 2:58 AM / 6 years ago

Amputee climber scales Himalayan peak a year after losing leg

KATHMANDU (Reuters Life!) - A Hungarian climber who lost his right leg in a climbing accident last year has scaled the world’s fourth-highest mountain with a prosthetic leg, his expedition said.

Romanian-born Zsolt Eross, 43, who in 2002 became the first Hungarian to reach the top of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain, reached the 8,516-meter peak of Lhotse on Saturday.

“Following the successful summit, the two climbers made it back to the 7,900-meter Camp 4 late at night and now they’re at Camp 3,” the report from Budapest said on Sunday.

“They are well but tired.”

In a video message from his crew posted on YouTube and dated May 15, Eross said he was putting the prosthesis under “quite a bit of stress” but it was handling well.

“I still have to take it off quite a bit and adjust it, sometime in sensitive situations like the other day in a storm under the Lhotse wall, so there are still some inconveniences,” he said.

“But overall, it’s good.”

Eross, whose family name means “strong,” suffered compound fractures of both legs in a fall in Slovakia’s Tatra mountains in January 2010, requiring amputation of his right leg below the knee.

But he began his comeback as soon as he was released from hospital. He attempted to climb Cho Oyu, the world’s sixth-highest peak, in September, but was turned back due to bad weather.

The media-shy Eross has already climbed nine of the world’s 14 mountains higher than 8,000 meters, including Nanga Parbat --

known as the “Killer Mountain” -- which he summitted in 1999. His goal is to climb as many of the peaks as possible.

New Zealander Mark Inglis set the gold standard among amputee climbers in 2006, when he became the first double amputee to summit Everest.

Reporting by Balazs Koranyi, editing by Elaine Lies

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