HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: With barely a few days remaining for the climbing season to come to an end, mountaineers made full use of a clear weather window today to set several new records by summiting the world’s highest peak.
David Liano Gonzalez, 33, set a new world record by scaling Mt Everest twice in one climbing season; British explorer Daniel Hughes, who spoke to the BBC from the top of the world’s highest mountain using his smartphone, became the first person to give a live interview from the roof of the world; British mountaineer Kenton Cool reached Everest summit for the 11th time, a record for any British climber; and Samina Baig became the first Pakistani woman to scale the world’s highest peak.
Gonzalez, from Mexico, summited Mt Everest from both Nepal and Tibet sides in one climbing season, said former president of Nepal Mountaineering Association Ang Tshering Sherpa. “The ascent from the north side is his fifth summit of Mt Everest,” said Sherpa. On May 11, he had scaled Mt Everest from the south side. Today he reached the peak again from the north side at 04:35am local time.
Cool, on the other hand, reached the summit of Mt Everest, the second of three summits he is attempting to complete in one continuous climb over the course of 10 days. If successful Cool, who lives in Gloucestershire, will become the first person to achieve the feat. The two peaks he has scaled so far are Everest and Nuptse (7,861m), with Lhotse (8,516m) ascent expected to happen later. In his 10th climb, achieved in May last year, Cool carried an Olympic gold medal to the summit which fulfilled a pledge made by a member of the 1922 British Everest expedition who failed to do the same. Hughes, who spoke to BBC from atop Mt Everest, reached the summit in an attempt to raise £1m for the charity Comic Relief.
Baig, the first Pakistani woman to scale Mount Everest, completed the climb at around 7:30am local time with her brother Mirza Ali, who becomes the third and youngest Pakistani male to scale the mountain. Ali (29) and Baig (21) are natives of Shimshal village in Hunza valley, Pakistan.
Indian twin sisters, Tashi and Nugshi, were also at the top of the Everest with Baig and Ali. By hoisting Pakistani and Indian flags side by side, the four South-Asians hoped to spread the message of Indo-Pak peace and friendship.
In another first, Dr Nima Namgyal Sherpa of Khumjung, Solukhumbu, became the first Nepali medical doctor to summit Mt Everest. She also summited Mt Everest today at 07:30am local time.