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Californian peaks as oldest on Everest

Mon., May 25, 2009, 2:04 p.m.

Spokane’s Eddy held title for two days

Dawes Eddy, 66, of Spokane was the oldest U.S. citizen to successfully climb Mount Everest — for two days

Bill Burke, 67, of Cost Mesa, Calif., made the summit in a group guided by Asian Trekking on Thursday according to reports confirmed by three Web sites that track Everest climbs.

Eddy reached the summit on Tuesday in a group led by International Mountain Guides.

Kay LeClaire, 60, of Spokane continues to be the oldest U.S. woman to climb the peak after her Friday ascent with Alpine Ascents International.

On Monday afternoon she was still working her way down the dangerous route off the mountain to base camp.

Jerry LeClaire, her husband in Spokane, said Monday at 2 p.m. that he had not yet received a satellite phone call, “but from the Web (reports) it sounds like she’s safe.”

More than 300 mountaineers have reached the 29,035-foot summit of the world’s highest peak this spring. The unofficial death toll is 5, according to, including one 29-year-old Calgary resident and German citizen who made the summit two days ago but died coming down.

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