Saudi woman makes history by reaching Everest summit


Facebook photo of Raha MoharrakIt took a lot of persuading before Raha Moharrak’s Saudi family agreed to let her climb

A Saudi woman has made history by reaching the summit of the world’s highest mountain.

Raha Moharrak, 25, not only became the first Saudi woman to attempt the climb but also the youngest Arab to make it to the top of Everest.

She is part of a four-person expedition that also includes the first Qatari man and the first Palestinian man attempting to reach the summit.

They are trying to raise $1m (£660,000) for education projects in Nepal.

Originally from Jeddah, Ms Moharrak is a university graduate currently based in Dubai.

Coming from Saudi Arabia – a conservative Muslim country where women’s rights are very restricted – she had to break a lot of barriers to achieve her goal, her climb team said.

A biography on the expedition website said convincing Ms Moharrak’s family to agree to her climb “was as great a challenge as the mountain itself”, though they fully support her now.

“I really don’t care about being the first,” she is quoted as saying. “So long as it inspires someone else to be second.”

Mountaineer Kenton Cool beats Everest for 11th time

Mountaineer Kenton Cool beats Everest for 11th time

Kenton Cool and Dorje Gylgen
Kenton Cool (r) and Dorje Gylgen (l) reached the Everest summit at 02:00 local time

British mountaineer Kenton Cool has reached the summit of Everest for a record-breaking 11th time.

Everest is the second of three summits he is attempting to reach in one continuous climb over the course of 10 days.

If successful Mr Cool, who lives in Gloucestershire, will become the first person to achieve the feat.

An update on his Facebook page said he and climbing partner Dorje Gylgen were “feeling strong” and “going for it”.

‘Total darkness’

The two peaks so far achieved are Everest (8,848m) and Nuptse (7,861m), with Lhotse (8,516m) the final ascent expected to happen later.

All three form what is called the western cwm – a wall of rock and ice that is part of the route to Everest.

Mr Cool, who reached the summit of Everest at 02:00 local time, said online: “Dorje Gylgen and I took bare essentials and made it to roof of world in total darkness.

“Disappointment of being early and not seeing sun rise made good with privilege of sitting alone in absolutely silence with my friend, just as I’ve always thought Hillary and Tenzing did.

“Dorje and I laughed at stupidity of our small head-torches beaming into nothing.”

This latest ascent of Everest breaks his own British record for the most summits of the world’s highest peak.

In his tenth climb, achieved in May last year, Mr Cool carried an Olympic gold medal to the summit which fulfilled a pledge made by a member of the 1922 British Everest expedition who failed to do the same.

Nepal protests at Everest video call by climber Hughes


 Daniel Hughes spoke to the BBC from the summit of Everest on 19 May

Nepal’s tourism ministry has demanded to know why a British climber made a video call from the summit of Mount Everest without permission.

Daniel Hughes reached the top of the world’s highest peak on 19 May, and spoke live to BBC News from there using his smartphone.

Nepalese officials have summoned his expedition leader, David Hamilton, to be questioned by a committee.

An official said Mr Hughes had broken the rules on broadcasting.

Dipendra Poudel from the mountain section of Nepal’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Aviation told the BBC: “The mountaineering rules say if you want to make a live telecast from the mountain, which is a restricted area, you have to get a permit first and inform us early about what you’re going to do.

“It costs around $2,000 (£1,324) to get this permit.”

Ministry officials said mountaineers found guilty of violating Nepal’s tourism laws could be banned from obtaining climbing permits for 10 years or banned from entering the country for five years.

Mr Hughes, who has now left Nepal, aimed to raise £1m ($1.6m) for the British charity Comic Relief by climbing Mount Everest and carrying out what he said would be the world’s first video call from the summit.

During the call the climber wore an oxygen mask as well as a red nose, which is the Comic Relief symbol.

‘Grey’ rules

The expedition leader told the BBC that he was trying to reach an amicable settlement with the ministry. Mr Hamilton said he had been operating in Nepal for the past 20 years without infringing local laws and sensibilities.

“If we realised this filming was going to be an issue, we would have tried to head it off at the beginning.

“As far as we see it, the rules are a little bit grey about shooting short video clips and putting them on websites.”

The BBC’s former Nepal correspondent, Joanna Jolly, says the incident demonstrates that the country’s broadcasting regulations have not kept up with technological progress.

May is the most popular month for climbing Everest due to favourable weather, and the past weeks have seen several firsts on the world’s highest mountain.

They include a record 11th ascent by a British mountaineer, the first by a Saudi woman and the ascent of the oldest person yet to conquer the peak, 80-year-old Yuichiro Miura, from Japan.

 80-year-old Japanese man Yuichiro Miura stands atop the summit of Mount Everest (23 May 2013).80-year-old Yuichiro Miura is the oldest man to reach the summit of Mount Everest

Everest crowds: The world’s highest traffic jam

28 May 2013 Last updated at 08:57 GMT

Everest crowds: The world’s highest traffic jam

By Jon KellyBBC News MagazineClimbers in a "traffic jam" on Everest in May 2012Six decades after it was conquered, mountaineers complain that the summit of Mount Everest has become virtually gridlocked with climbers. How did the world’s highest mountain become so congested?

In May 1953 Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay stood alone together at the very top of the world.

Nowadays, the same spot is rather less desolate.

Thanks to advances in mountaineering equipment and the indefatigable efforts of Sherpa guides, more climbers than ever are reaching the peak of Mount Everest – a landmark that was once believed to be impossible to surmount.

According to National Geographic, in 1990 18% of summit attempts were successful. By 2012 that figure stood at 56%.

But this has come at a cost. Critics say the summit has become as congested as a five-lane motorway during bank holiday weekend.

On a single day in 2012, no fewer than 234 climbers reached the peak. By contrast, as recently as 1983 the most successful ascents in a single day was eight, and a decade later that figure stood at 40.

This year some complained of waiting two-and-a-half hours in queues at bottlenecks on their way to the summit.

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Most Everest ascents in a single day

  • 1953: 2
  • 1963: 4
  • 1973: 4
  • 1983: 8
  • 1993: 40
  • 2003: 116
  • 2012: 234

Source: Eberhard Jurgalski

striking photograph by German mountaineer Ralf Dujmovits – which showed a queue hundreds-long snaking its way up during 2012 – ignited a debate about whether the procession was ruining enjoyment of the ascent.

Westerners can pay anything from $10,000 (£6,600) to $100,000 (£66,000) for permits to climb the mountain and guides to accompany them, and a sizeable tourist industry has sprung up around the base – bringing with it complaints about litter and poor sanitation for miles around.

“There were just people everywhere,” says Ayisha Jessa, 31, a keen climber from London who recently visited Everest’s base camp. At the nearby village of Namachi, she says, “it’s completely commercialised – everything is intended for the Western traveller”.

For many serious climbers, all this has served to devalue Everest.

“It isn’t a wilderness experience – it’s a McDonald’s experience,” says Graham Hoyland, an experienced mountaineer and author of The Last Hours on Everest, an account of the ill-fated 1924 ascent by George Mallory and Andrew Irvine.

Sherpa collecting rubbish left by climbers in 2010

Advances in weather forecasting mean climbers time their attempts to the same few days each year, worsening the bottlenecks. A better understanding of altitude sickness has also helped more mountaineers ascend 8,848m (29,029ft) to the summit.

For their financial outlay, Westerners are given a plentiful supply of oxygen and, very often, a Nepalese mountain guide assigned specifically to ensure they get to the top.

The tour parties also ascend using fixed ropes, which help less accomplished climbers but are believed by many elite mountaineers to detract from the sport.

Thanks to all this assistance, more than 3,000 individuals have scaled the mountain since 1953.


They include Californian Jordan Romero, who in 2010 became the youngest person to climb Everest aged 13, and 80-year old Yuichiro Miura from Japan, who set the most recent record for the oldest summiteer. An 81-year-old, Nepalese Min Bahadur Sherchan, is attempting to snatch Miura’s title.

“Normally, as long as they are not too ill or too weak, nearly everyone – if they have enough money and patience – can get up Everest,” says Eberhard Jurgalski, who has attempted to chronicle every Everest ascent since 1953.

“Also, if the weather hasn’t been good for a few weeks it becomes much more crowded on the days you can climb.”

Some worry that the influx of inexperienced climbers on to such potentially hazardous terrain could have tragic consequences.

“You have people going up there who don’t know how to operate the ropes or use the crampons,” says Hoyland. “There’s a huge disaster waiting to happen.”

In 1996, eight people died within 36 hours near the summit. In 2012, some 10 lives were lost on the mountain, three of them Sherpas.

Chart showing numbers of climbers and deaths

So it’s not surprising that tensions have built up.

According to Hoyland, experienced climbers have grown frustrated that long queues of amateurs using fixed ropes are slowing them down.

Tempers on the mountain boiled over in April when a scuffle broke out at 7,470m (24,500ft) between two well-known European climbers, Ueli Steck and Simone Moro, and a group of Nepalese mountain guides.

While complaints are still made about litter and human waste on the mountain, a series of clean-up expeditions have improved the environmental situation, Hoyland says.

But as Nepalese authorities face calls to take further action, proposals to remedy Everest’s congestion have sharply divided climbers.

One expedition company has suggested installing a ladder at the Hillary Step, a rocky outcrop just before the summit, where only one person can go up or down at any one time. But purists complain this would lessen the challenge of scaling the mountain.

Mountaineers on Hillary StepMountaineers wait their turn at the Hillary Step

Another proposed solution would be to limit the number of climbers. Until 1985, the Nepalese authorities allowed only one expedition on each route to the summit at any one time, and in theory this practice could be revived.

Others suggest, candidates for a permit could be required to undergo training or at least demonstrate mountaineering experience. “If everyone going up had at least a little bit of an idea about the culture of climbing, that would make a big difference,” says Hoyland.


But the notion of imposing quotas sits uneasily with many in the free-spirited world of mountaineering.

Sir Chris Bonnington, who reached the summit aged 50 in 1985, says he is grateful that he was there at a time when crowds were restricted.

However, while he believes there is much that can be done to improve Everest’s management, he feels uneasy with the idea of denying to others the opportunity he enjoyed.

“If you say there are only 100 or 200 people coming each year, that’s a lot of people who will never be able to share the incredible personal experience of getting to the top of the mountain,” Sir Chris says.

Restricting the number of visitors would also have a major impact on those who rely on tourism for their income.

“It’s a mountain that people live on, and the local community is completely supported by the climbers,” says Jessa.

The debate will rumble on. And as long as the memory of Hillary and Norgay’s achievement persists, the crowds will keep coming.

Five, including 3 foreigners, killed in Kanchanjunga avalanche


TAPLEJUNG, May 23: Five people, including three foreigners, have been killed in a avalanche at the base camp of Mt Kanchanjunga, while they were returning after scaling the world’s third highest peak located on the boarding area with Indian, in north east of Nepal.

Among the dead are two Nepalis and three foreigners, including two Hungarians and a South Korean national, said Abirman Rai, a member of Kanchanjunga Conservation Area Management Council, after arriving in the Taplejung district headquarters from Yamphudin. 

According to him, the two Nepalis killed are Diwas Gurung and Sonam Sherpa of Sankhuwasabha. The names of all three foreigners are not known yet.
Published on 2013-05-23 18:05:23

Japanese 80-year-old claims Everest record

Yuichiro Miura (R) and son Gota pose at their camp at 8,000 meters on 22 May 2013An 80-year old Japanese mountaineer has reached the summit of Mount Everest, making him the oldest man to scale the world’s highest peak.

Yuichiro Miura, who climbed Everest when he was 70 and then again at 75, reached the peak early on Thursday morning, his support team said.

He replaces Nepal’s Min Bahadur Sherchan, who was 76 when he conquered Everest in 2008, as the record holder.

But Mr Sherchan, now 81, is set to tackle the mountain again next week.

Mr Miura began his final charge for the 29,035-foot (8,850-meter) peak around 02:00 on Thursday, Japanese media reported, and arrived at the summit some seven hours later.

“I made it!” Mr Miura said, speaking to his family and supporters via satellite phone from the summit.

“I never imagined I could make it to the top of Mt Everest at age 80. This is the world’s best feeling, although I’m totally exhausted. Even at 80, I can still do quite well.”

A Nepalese mountaineering official also confirmed to the Associated Press news agency that Mr Miura had made it to the summit.

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“Start Quote

If the limit of age 80 is at the summit of Mt Everest… one can never be happier”

Yuichiro Miura

Mr Miura made the climb with three other Japanese climbers, including his son, and six Nepali Sherpas, Reuters news agency reported.

An extreme skier who once held a world speed-skiing record, Mr Miura broke his pelvis and left thigh in 2009 and has also had a number of operations on his heart.

Ahead of his climb, he said scaling Everest was about challenging his limits and honouring “the great Mother Nature”.

“If the limit of age 80 is at the summit of Mt. Everest, the highest place on earth, one can never be happier,” he wrote on his expedition website.

Sherpa brothers set new record in mountaineering

KATHMANDU: Two Sherpa brothers of Nurbuchaur in Makalu VDC in Sankhuwasabha district in eastern Nepal have set a new record in mountaineering. 

Climbers Mingma Sherpa and Chhangdawa Sherpa have set a record by climbing all 14 peaks of the world above 8,000 meters. 

Climber Sherpa family is preparing to write a new record in the near future in the mountaineering sector as well. All six brothers in their family are preparing to scale the world’s highest peak Mt. Everest simultaneously. 

Four brothers have reached Mt. Everest base camp now and two brothers Mingma and Chhangdawa will leave for there in a few days. There are eight peaks in Nepal out of the 14 peaks of the world above 8,000 metres. 

Record holder climber Mingma and Chhangdawa in a press meet on Sunday claimed they were the first Nepali brothers to climb all the 14 peaks of the world above 8,000 metres. They climbed the peaks from 2000 till date.

They have climbed Mt. Everest, Makalu, Lhotse, Broad Peak, Dami Kang, Nanga Parbat, Manaslu, Langtang Lirung, Kanchenjunga, Kanchenjunga G1 and G2, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, K2, and Shisha Pangma. 

Mingma climbed the peaks since he was 16 and Chhangdawa since 17. They said their climb to K2 was most risky out of the 14 peaks they climbed in the world. 

The Sherpa brothers said they were engaged in climbing for world record rather than for any financial benefit, and added that they were making efforts for registering their names in world record. 

As some 31 climbers of the world have climbed all the peaks above 8,000 metres of the world, Mingma was 24 th and Chhangdawa was 31 st. 

They said they were successful in making new records to make Nepal known in the world in mountaineering sector and they now want that the state also take care of them. 

They shared their experience that they were for long Yak herders as they were of born in a poor family economically and suggested that the government spend some amount from the royalty taken from mountaineers to stop pollution increasing in the Himalayan region.

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