Climbers ascend Everest after two-year gap | News | DW | 12.05.2016
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Climbers ascend Everest after two-year gap

Nepalese and foreign mountaineers have become the first climbers to scale Mount Everest after a two-year pause. Last year's quake and several deadly accidents in 2014 had forced authorities to suspend climbing.

British climbers Kenton Cool and Robert Lucas and Mexican mountaineer David Liano Gonzales reached the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) Mount Everest peak on Thursday.

"Three foreigners and three Nepalese have climbed the Everest this morning. One of the foreigners is a Mexican," Gyanedra Shrestha, a Tourism Ministry official, told the DPA news agency. "They have become the first foreigners to reach the top of the Everest after two years."

Hundreds of mountaineers abandoned their expedition last year after a massive earthquake in Nepal triggered an avalanche at the Everest base camp that killed 18 people. A year earlier, only one climber had reached the summit after an avalanche killed 16 Nepalese guides.

On Tuesday, nine Nepalese climbers, who work as mountain guides and icefall doctors, arrived on the summit as they fixed the ropes to the top for the others climbers to climb, said Shrestha.

'Very good news'

It was the 12th successful Everest climb for Cool, whereas Gonzales is the record holder with six successful ascents of Everest from both the northern side in China and the southern side in Nepal in the same season.

"After today's successful summit, Cool has become the first Briton to scale Everest 12 times," said Iswari Paudel, owner of Himalayan Guides Nepal, which arranged the expedition.

"In the last two years, I have lost 14 sherpas in two disasters on Everest. All of us in the climbing community - locals and Westerners - were so sad. We really wanted to send out a positive message to the world this year… and today's summit is very good news," he said.

The climbing window for the Everest summit is generally a few days in mid-May when the weather is favorable. A total of 289 foreigners and 400 Nepalese are attempting to climb Everest in the 2016 spring season. Most have been on the mountain since March, acclimatizing for the summit by making trips between the three base camps.

Last week, the officials confirmed the death of two Nepali climbers on Mount Makalu (8,485 meters), the fifth highest mountain in the world. They were found dead in their tent at an elevation of 8,300 meters.

shs/sms (AP, dpa, AFP)

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