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May 17th: two Korean climbers die on new route on Everest

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7summits:
South Korean climbers killed on Mount Everest
Binaj Gurubacharya, The Associated Press
Published: Thursday, May 17, 2007

KATMANDU, Nepal - Two South Korean climbers were killed trying to scale Mount Everest, a Nepalese mountaineering official said Thursday.

Oh Hee-joon, 37, and Lee Hyun-jo, 34, fell after they reached the altitude of 27,200 feet on their way to the summit Wednesday, said Khadananda Dhakal, chief of Nepal's Mountaineering Department.

Dhakal said there were not many details available, but the two climbers were part of a seven-member Korean team climbing from the southwest face of the world's highest mountain.

Some 23 climbing parties are attempting to scale the peak from the Nepalese side this season. Strong winds and heavy snow have hampered many of the parties, forcing them to stay at lower camps along the icy trail.

The first teams reached the 29,035-foot summit Wednesday, and more scaled the peak on Thursday, but details were not available.

The climbing season began in March and is expected to end in late May when the annual monsoon usually brings fresh blizzards that make the climbing route too treacherous.

Since New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay first conquered Everest on May 29, 1953, around 2,000 climbers have scaled the mountain. Another 205 people have died on its unpredictable slopes.

(from Canada.com

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