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First climbers summit Everest after deadly disasters

2016-05-11 15:21
Mt Everest (File)

Kathmandu - Nine Nepalis reached the top of Mount Everest on Wednesday, the first group of climbers to summit the world's highest mountain in three years after deadly disasters forced a shutdown.

The team of nine reached the summit at 13:11 SA time while fixing ropes for foreign climbers who will try later this week to ascend the mountain, hit by tragedy in 2014 and 2015.

"A team of nine Nepalis have set the route and reached Everest's summit," Nepal tourism department director general Sudarshan Prasad Dhakal told AFP.

"This opens the doors for other climbers to reach the summit as well. This is very good news after two years of disaster and has shown that the road up Everest is safe," he said.

Climbing teams announced plans this week to summit Everest, after disasters forced a shutdown of the Himalayan peak and raised fears for the future of the lucrative industry.

Hundreds of climbers abandoned the mountain last year after an earthquake-triggered avalanche killed 18 people at Everest base camp.

Only one climber summited the peak in 2014 after an avalanche killed 16 Nepali guides. China's Wang Jing reached the top after using a helicopter to transport tent equipment to higher camps following the closure of the 2014 climbing season.

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