Chinese woman, helped by chopper lift, scales Mt Everest

Written by PTI | Kathmandu | Updated: May 25 2014, 01:17am hrs
A Chinese woman has become the first person to scale Mount Everest this season amid a controversy that she was partly helped by a chopper lift during her ascent to the world's highest peak.

Wang Jing, 41, accompanied by five Sherpa guides reached the summit late yesterday, said an official at Nepal's Tourism Ministry.

She is the first person to summit the 8,848-metre peak this season, officials said today.

Officials, however, said they are not yet sure if the climb could be logged officially as Wang used a helicopter for a big part of her ascent.

"We are awaiting details of the climb before deciding whether to recognise the climb officially or not," said Tilak Pandey, an official at the Mountaineering Division of the ministry.

Wang's ascent comes just over a month after an avalanche killed 16 Nepalese Sherpa guides in the deadliest ever accident on the Everest, leading to a virtual shutdown of the world's highest mountain peak.

Most climbers abandoned plans to ascend Everest from the Nepalese side - the easiest and most popular route- after the avalanche.

The climbing season lasts until May 25, after which the temperature gets warmer and the mountain more dangerous.

Wang had decided to fly to Camp 2, an advance base camp at a height of 6,400 metres where climbers spend time to adjust to the increased altitude, because the route below, normally prepared by Sherpas beforehand with ropes and ladders, had not been completed this spring.

About 4,000 people have scaled Mt Everest since 1953 when Tenzing Sherpa and Edmund Hillary made it to the summit while more than 250 people have died during the attempts.