Nine sherpas first to climb Everest after Nepal disasters
By Gopal Sharma
KATHMANDU (Reuters) - A Nepali sherpa led a nine-man team to the top of Mount Everest on Wednesday, becoming the first to scale the world's tallest peak from the Nepali side since a deadly earthquake in 2015 and a fatal avalanche the year before forced climbers to retreat.
The mountain guide was part of a rope-fixing team preparing the final stretch to the 8,850-metre (29,035-foot) summit, running along the Southeast Ridge route, for teams to make their own attempts in the next few days.
"Sherra Gyalgen Sherpa reached the top of Sagarmatha at 5.05 p.m. (1120 GMT)," said Ang Tshering Sherpa, chief of the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA), using the mountain's Nepali name.
"In all nine sherpa climbers scaled the top," tourism official Gyanendra Shrestha told Reuters from Everest Base Camp.
Laying the final stretch of ropes was delayed slightly on Wednesday by heavy snow high on the mountain.
The ascents were the first in three years after two years of tragedy halted climbing on Everest.
An avalanche in the treacherous Khumbu Icefall killed 16 mountain guides in 2014, and 18 people died a year ago when an earthquake sent a massive snowslide careening into Base Camp.
In total, 9,000 people were killed across Nepal in the 7.8 magnitude quake whose first anniversary the country has just commemorated. Continued...