KATHMANDU (Reuters) – Four veteran Sherpa climbers left on Monday for Mount Everest on a mission to climb the world’s highest mountain in five days from the Nepali side, aiming to set a record for its shortest winter ascent in nearly three decades, hiking officials said.
If successful, the team led by 34-year-old Tashi Lakpa Sherpa, who has climbed Everest eight times, will be the first to climb the 8,850-metre (29,035-ft) peak in 27 years during winter, when freezing cold and shorter daylight hours make climbing difficult.
“We know it is extremely risky and difficult to climb Sagarmatha during the winter, but we are very well acclimatized and prepared for this,” Sherpa told reporters, using the name by which Nepalis refer to Mount Everest.
“Ours is a strong team and we have confidence that we can do it,” he added, before flying in a helicopter to base camp at Everest.
Temperatures in the death zone of Everest, so-called because of thin air above its South Col, can drop…
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