Camp4: Live To Climb

Back to Web Friendly Version

Home > News Archive > Speed ascent records smashed on Everest's 50th anniversarySubmit Your News

Speed ascent records smashed on Everest's 50th anniversary


by Unknown

May 28, 2003

Camp4 - Climbing News Archive

Thursday, 29 May 2003 will be the 50th anniversary of the first confirmed summit bid on Mt. Everest (more appropriately, perhaps, Sagarmatha or Chomolungma - the Nepalese and Tibetan names for the peak). Fifty years ago, Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Percival Hillary stepped foot on the top of the world, harkening in a new era of alpine climbing.

It is often argued that George Mallory and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine, approaching from the Tibetan side of the mountain in 1924 could possibly have summited as well, years earlier - but they did not return to tell their tale. Eric Simonson's 1999 Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition with Conrad Anker (among others) found the remains of Mr. Irvine and many relics that are inconclusive, but Mr. Mallory's fate remains a mystery. Click here for a complete timeline of the mountain in climbing history.

This year there are more teams than ever climbing the mountain, for the fiftieth anniversary. At least 65 teams are in the area bidding for the summit (or have already made their attempts this season), and several notable ascents have occurred.

One of the most amazing so far, as the season comes to an end, is the new speed record from Base Camp to summit - broken not once, but twice this season. Absolutely smashed.

Mr. Lakpa Gelu Sherpa (36 yrs), the climbing Sirdar from Jubing - 1, KhariKhola, Solukhumbu, Nepal has been successful in achieving the world record for the fastest ascent, albeit aided and with oxygen, in 10:56:46. He started for the summit at 5PM on 25 May, and summitted at 3:56:46AM the following morning. He returned to base camp with a total time of 18 hours and 20 minutes for the round trip, which can take days and weeks with acclimatization and camp-building, along with waiting for good weather for expedition teams.

The previous record, set only 2 days prior, was 12 hours 45 minutes set by Mr. Pemba Dorjie Sherpa (25), a climbing Sherpa from Rolwalling.

The previous record was set by the late Babu Chhiri Sherpa, 16 hours 56 minutes in the year 2000.

Good luck to those teams still climbing and awaiting their windows!

Reporting by KMB, from open-source news feeds.

This comes from: Camp4
Live To Climb