2 Britons first foreigners to reach top of Everest after quake last year
BRITISH mountaineers Kenton Cool and Robert Lucas became the first foreigners to summit Mount Everest after a deadly earthquake ended last year's climbing season, an expedition operator said yesterday.
The mountaineers were accompanied by two local guides, Dorchi Gyalzen Sherpa and Pemba Bhote, and reached the top of the world's highest peak at 8.15am local time yesterday, said Iswari Paudel, owner of Himalayan Guides Nepal which arranged the expedition.
The four-person team was the first to ascend the 8,850m-high Himalayan peak after nine Nepalis reached the summit on Wednesday evening while fixing ropes for foreign climbers who plan to scale the mountain this week.
Hundreds of climbers abandoned the mountain last year after an earthquake-triggered avalanche at Everest base camp killed 18 people, including eight Nepalis working for Mr Paudel.
"All of us in the climbing community - locals and Westerners - have been 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.
Nepal issued 289 permits to mountaineers for this year's brief spring climbing season, which runs from mid-April to the end of this month.