Everest Speed Record Upheld
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The Nepalese government has endorsed a new speed record for climbing Mount Everest’s 11,335-vertical-foot South Col route from basecamp: 8 hours 10 minutes, set by Pemba Dorjee Sherpa on May 21. The former record holder, Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa, had challenged Pemba’s account of his climb, saying the weather was too poor on Everest that day for a speed ascent and that no one had seen Pemba climbing to the top. But according to www.mounteverest.net, a seven-member committee assembled by Nepal concluded that the weather was better high on the mountain than it was at basecamp, and Pemba was able to provide ample evidence of his trip to the summit, including descriptions of items left by climbers the day before.