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NZ expedition prepares for Everest summit

Media release – May 9, 2008

NZ and other expeditions prepare for Everest summit after Olympic torch reaches its mission

Chinese climbers reached the summit of Mt Everest yesterday allowing New Zealand and other international expeditions poised to climb from the Nepalese side free to continue their own attempts at climbing the world’s highest mountain.

The Chinese climbers lit the Olympic torch on the summit and the torch is now headed to Beijing for the opening of the Olympic Games in 91 days.

New Zealand expedition company Adventure Consultants has had a group waiting at Everest base camp for the Chinese to complete their ascent as Nepalese authorities would not allow any climbers on the mountain while the Chinese were climbing.

The Adventure Consultants team led by Kiwi mountain guide Mike Roberts is now heading up to a high camp to complete their acclimatisation preparations over the next seven days to ensure they have adapted their bodies to the thin atmosphere.

They will then return to base camp for a short rest prior to their own summit attempt later this month. The exact date of their summit climb will depend on weather conditions and the condition of the climbing team.

Their New Zealand guides are Mike Roberts and Lydia Bradey. Also guiding are Victor Saunders from Scotland and Ang Dorje Sherpa, now based in the USA.

New Zealand has had a close association with Nepal and the Sherpas since the late Sir Ed Hillary became the first person to reach the Everest summit in May 1953.

Adventure Consultants is run by top NZ expedition leader Guy Cotter of Wanaka who took over the company after the Everest death of Rob Hall, the original founder, in 1996.

They have run 14 expeditions to Mt Everest, 12 of which have reached the summit with a tally of 129 ascents .

``It’s just great to see the Chinese complete their quest as this allows all the other climbers to get on with their own ascents,’’ Cotter said today.


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