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More than 150 scale Mount Everest after weather improves

/ 08:11 PM May 19, 2016

KATHMANDU, Nepal — More than 150 climbers scaled Mount Everest as better weather conditions Thursday led to a crowded day atop the world’s highest peak, a Nepal official at the base camp said.

A team of soldiers from United Arab Emirates and other teams from the Indian army were among the climbers on the summit, Department of Mountaineering official Gyanendra Shrestha said. He said it was hard to say exactly the number of people who have reached the summit or their nationalities but it was a busy day on the summit.

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Many of them were returning safely to lower camps, and the weather was still favorable near the summit.

Climbers have been reaching the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) summit almost daily since May 11, but high winds had forced a break Tuesday and Wednesday before climbing resumed Thursday.

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It is not unusual for big numbers of climbers to reach the summit on a single day because only two or three windows of good weather in May enable climbing on the peak often hit with extremely harsh weather conditions.

This season has been a good for climbers on Everest after two years of disasters.

An avalanche triggered by a powerful earthquake killed 19 climbers and injured 61 others at base camp last year. In 2014, 16 Sherpa guides were killed by an avalanche above the base camp.

Last year’s climbing season was scrubbed, and nearly all of the climbers in 2014 abandoned their attempts after the avalanche. The only team who reached the summit that year from the Nepal side was a Chinese woman and her five Sherpa guides.

It was feared that the disasters would drive away climbers, but hundreds of climbers and thousands of foreign trekkers returned this spring to Nepal, which has eight of the highest mountains in the world.

Separately, a Nepalese Sherpa mountain guide slipped and fell to his death on nearby Mount Lhotse while fixing ropes to the summit for his Western clients. Attempts were being made to retrieve his body, Shrestha said. TVJ

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TAGS: Earthquake, Gyanendra Shrestha, Mount Everest, Mountain Climbers, mountain climbing, Nepalese Sherpa mountain, trekkers, trekking, United Arab Emirates
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