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Japanese team take lead in scaling Mt. Qomolangma this year

Xinhuanet 2003-05-20 21:19:05

¡¡¡¡LAHSA, China, May 20 (Xinhuanet) -- A Japanese expedition became the first of over 60 teams this year to step on the world's highest peak, Mount Qomolangma, in China's Tibet Autonomous Regionon Tuesday, marking the 50th anniversary of conquering the summit by human being.

¡¡¡¡At 11:15 (Beijing time), the team comprising Japanese climber Hiroyuki Okochi, French mountain guide Philipe Grenier, and three sherpa helpers Pemba Bhiring, Pemba Tenjin and Da Dendi, reached the top of the 8,848-meter-high mountain from the north slope.

¡¡¡¡It was the first time for Okochi, 25, to reach the area more than 8,000 meters above the sea level, and the third time for sherpa Pemba Bhiring, 60, to conquer the mountain. Pemba Bhiring is no doubt the eldest sherpa in this mountaineering season.

¡¡¡¡Da Dendi, 21, became the youngest sherpa in this Spring to climb to the top from the north slope.

¡¡¡¡Grenier, 49, had ever scaled the peak in 1992 from the south slope.

¡¡¡¡Amemiya Takashi, the head of the Japanese team, said," I am very much proud of the success after making great efforts in 55 days."

¡¡¡¡The five-men squad left their last and the highest camp about 8,300 meters above the sea level at about 04:00 (Beijing time). Theybriefed their teammates at the main camp of their success through walkie-talkie at about 11:20 (Beijing time).

¡¡¡¡Following the Japanese team, two sherpa helpers from a U.S. team got to the top at about 12:00 (Beijing time).

¡¡¡¡The weather in the mountainous region was extremely good at noon. Enditem

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