KATHMANDU: A renowned French climber announced Tuesday he will try for the fastest ascent of Mount Everest from the Chinese side next year.
Marc Batard, 57, who was the first climber to set a speed record on the world's highest peak, told The Associated Press he hopes to beat Austrian Christian Stangl's 16-hour-42-minute climb of the northern face in 2007.
The record is much faster from the Nepalese side of the mountain.
Nepalese climber Pemba Dorje sprinted from the base camp to the 29,035-foot (8,850-meter) summit from Nepal side in 8 hours and 10 minutes in 2004.
Everest lies on the border between China and Nepal, and most mountaineers climb from the Nepalese side, although many also attempt the northeast ridge route that originates in Tibet.
Batard climbed the peak from the Nepal side in 1988 in 22 hours.