Aussie climber holds fastest seven summit record; Everest route opens from Tibet side

KATHMANDU: An Australian climber scaled Mt Everest today completing all the highest peaks in seven continents in 117 days becoming the fastest climber to achieve the feat.

According to Iswari Poudel, Managing Director at Himalayan Guides, Steve Plain (36) set the world record of climbing seven summits in the shortest time of 117 days. “Plain took nearly seven hours to reach the summit point from Camp IV on Mt Everest,” he said.

Plain broke the fastest record of 126 days held by Polish climber Janusz Kochanski to complete the seven summits. He has already climbed six other highest peaks - Denali (North America), Elbrus (Europe), Vinson (Antarctica), Aconcagua (South America), Kilimanjaro (Africa) and Papua New Guinea’s Carstensz Pyramid (Australasia).

Meanwhile, a team of rope-fixing climbers opened a route to the summit of Mt Everest from Tibetan side, becoming the first team to scale the world’s highest peak from the north ridge.

According to Phurba Namgyal Sherpa, co-founder of Climbalaya Treks and Expeditions, “More than 180 climbers along with their climbing Sherpas will begin their summit pushes tomorrow after the Chinese team opened the route.”

Besides, an Austrian team led by mountain guide Tshering Pande Bhote from Climbalaya scaled Mt Gurla Mandhata (7,600 m) in Ngari, Tibet yesterday, Sherpa shared. “Two Austrian climbers and two Nepali Sherpas made it to the top of Mt Gurla Mandhata,” he added.