First foreign climbers reach Everest summit after two-year gap

Foreign climbers reached the top of Everest Thursday, with their route mapped out by Nepali guides, after a two-year pause in expeditions due to deadly accidents.

"Three foreigners and three Nepalis have climbed this morning. One of the foreigners is a Mexican," Gyanendra Shrestha, an official of the Tourism Ministry told dpa from Base Camp.

"They have become the first foreigners to reach the top of the Everest after a gap of two years."

"This seems like a huge success to us and everyone is very hopeful around here as the weather's looking good, too." 

The first successful ascent of Mount Everest this year was recorded on Wednesday, when nine Nepali climbers arrived on the summit to fix ropes for other climbers to use.

Everest expeditions in 2014 were cancelled after 16 Sherpas died in an icefall avalanche. In 2015, another avalanche triggered by a 7.8-magnitude quake killed 19 mountaineers at the Everest Base Camp, prompting the cancellation of all trips.

A Chinese woman, Wang Jing, had climbed Everest in 2014 after the expeditions were cancelled. But her summit was mired in controversy, as she was flown over part of ascent route.

The climbing window for the world's highest peak is generally a few days at a time in mid-May when the weather is favourable.

A total of 289 foreigners and 400 Nepalis are attempting to climb the mountain during this year's spring season. Most have been on the mountain since March, acclimatizing for the summit by making trips between the three base camps.

In 1953, New Zealander Edmund Hillary and his Nepali guide, Tenzing Norgay, climbed Everest for the first time. Since then, thousands have reached the summit, while hundreds others have died on its slopes.

Last update: Thu, 12/05/2016 - 12:55
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