Iranian mountaineers plan to be the first foreigners to climb Mount Everest from the Chinese side.
Iranian mountaineers plan to be the first foreigners to climb Mount Everest from the Chinese side. A team of 20 Iranian mountaineers, together with 20 Chinese climbers, have begun preparations for the attempt on the world's highest peak with their first acclimatisation climb.
SYNOPSIS: The joint Iranian and Chinese expedition began preparations 5,000 metres (16,000 feet) above sea-level at the base of Mount Everest or Mount Jolmo Lungma as it is known in China. Under a banner reading "Long live the friendship between the people and sportsmen of China and Iran" the climbers met for the first time. At a special ceremony marking the occasion, the national anthems of bote countries were played and their respective flags were hoisted on the base camp plaza. The training camp started at the same time as celebrations got underway in Katmandu marking the 25th anniversary of the mountain's first Western ascent of Everest. If the Iranian-Chinese climb, planned for next year, is successful it will be the first time foreign climbers have completed the ascent from the Chinese side. A nine-strong Chinese team, which included a Tibetan woman, has previously climbed the treacherous northern face of the 8,848 metre (29,082 feet) peak. Although this new Iranian-Chinese party is undertaking extensive preparations and acclimatisation trials, the Tibetan woman, who has already completed the trip they hope to make, has said she did not take part in similar training before the ascent. She said she was naturally acclimatised for the trip as she had been born on the high Tibetan plateau. The woman, Mrs. Phanthong, said her party stayed on the summit for an hour and 10 minutes without the use of oxygen.