KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) _ An Australian climber died while descending the summit of Mount Manaslu, the world's eighth highest peak at 26,775 feet, Nepalese mountaineering officials said Monday.

Suzanne Fear, 43, of Sydney, was killed Sunday when she fell into a crevasse, the Department of Mountaineering in Katmandu said.

Ang Tshering of Asian Trekking, which equipped the expedition, said he received a phone call from the base camp confirming the fall just below the summit.

Tshering said because of the high altitude, it would not be possible to retrieve the body.

He said Fear was climbing with local mountaineering guide Bishnu Gurung through the northeast route used by most climbers and was with a team of Japanese and Austrian climbers.

Besides scaling Mount Everest, the tallest peak in the world, in 2004, Fear climbed Mount Gasherbrum II in 2004, Mount Shishapangma in 2002 and Cho Oyu in 1998.

This year marks the 50th year anniversary of the conquest of Mount Manaslu by a Japanese mountaineer.

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On the Net:

Australian Geographic's Web site: www.australiangeographic.com.au

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