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US, Swede Climbers Scale Everest

May 5, 1999

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) _ Five climbers and nine of their Sherpa guides today became the first this year to scale Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, the Nepalese tourism ministry said.

The climbers include two Americans, two Swedes and a Canadian.

Peter Athans, 42, a veteran mountain guide from Boulder, Colo., and William Crouse, 36, of Carbondale, Colo., reached the 29,028-foot summit at 10:31 a.m. local time. They had climbed 12 hours from their Camp Four at South Col at 26,400 feet, the last stop for climbers before their attempt on the summit.

The Americans were accompanied by five Nepalese Sherpa guides: Ang Dorjee, 33; Nga Temba, 40; Gyalzen Sherpa, 37; Chongba Sherpa, 43 and Phutsi Sherpa, 26.

About two hours later, Goeran Kropp, 33, and Renata Chlumska, 26, both from Joenkoeping, Sweden, along with Bernard Voyer, a 42-year-old teacher from Montreal, Canada, also reached the summit.

They were escorted by four Sherpas: Mingma Chhiring, 28; Kami Sherpa, 34; Ang Chiri, 40 and Nuru Sherpa, 32.

The tourism ministry said that Arvin Timilsina, a 15-year-old Nepali student attempting to be the youngest climber to scale Everest, was also making his summit bid today. But there were no immediate details on his success.

At least nine more teams are racing to climb Everest before the spring mountaineering season ends May 31. The season began in March, and ends when the monsoon rains make it impossible to climb higher mountains.

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