Expedition to Everest summit
Media release – May 24, 2008
First NZ expedition to Everest summit since Hillary died
New Zealand climbers reached the world’s highest peak today to become the first Kiwi expedition to summit Everest since Sir Edmund Hillary died earlier this year.
Hillary was the first person in the world to reached the top of Everest on May 29, 55 years ago.
Among the New Zealanders in the expedition were guides Lydia Bradey and Mike Roberts. Bradey was the first woman in the world in 1988 to climb Everest without oxygen.
The latest New Zealand expedition, run by Wanaka based Adventure Consultants (AC), lifts the number of successful Everest ascents by Kiwi climbers to 54.
Adventure Consultants is run by top NZ expedition leader Guy Cotter who took over the company after the Everest death of Rob Hall, the original founder, in 1996.
Cotter said the expedition was the most unusual season on Mt Everest ever.
``We had Chinese Olympic torch carrying climbers on the summit, Nepalese soldiers with guns at Camp 2 stopping climbers from going high on the mountain for fear of interference, political wrangling in Kathmandu and covert surveillance of the climbing teams.
``Then there was discovery by the military of a ‘Free Tibet’ climbing protester who was ousted from base camp, so this year’s climbers will have more than just climbing tales to regale when it’s all over.’’
Cotter said he was grateful for the continued co-operation with Nepalese authorities. New Zealand has had a close association with Nepal and the Sherpas since Hillary summited in May 1953.
“Given the issues this season has presented us we are really happy to have had our group successfully reach the summit.”