KATHMANDU, Nepal – The first successful ascent of Mount Everest after a gap of two years was recorded on Wednesday, authorities confirmed.
Nine Nepali climbers, who work as mountain guides and icefall doctors, arrived on the summit as they fixed the ropes to the top for others climbers, according to Tourism Ministry official Gyanendra Shrestha, who is at the base camp.
The arrival of the climbers on the summit makes it the first successful Everest climb in two years.
Everest expeditions in 2014 were canceled after 16 Sherpas died in an icefall avalanche. In 2015, another avalanche triggered by a magnitude 7.8 quake killed 19 mountaineers at the Everest base camp, prompting the cancellation of all trips.
A Chinese woman, Wang Jing, had climbed Everest in 2014 after the expeditions were canceled. But her summit was mired in controversy, as she was flown over the precarious Khumbu icefall where an avalanche had killed the Nepali climbers.
The climbing window for the Everest summit is generally a few days in mid-May when the weather is favorable.
A total of 289 foreigners and 400 Nepalis are attempting to climb Everest in the 2016 spring season. Most have been on the mountain since March.
In 1953, New Zealander Edmund Hillary and his Nepali guide, Tenzing Norgay, climbed Everest for the first time. Since then, hundreds have climbed the mountain, while hundreds others have died on its slopes.
On Wednesday, the officials also confirmed the death of two Nepali climbers on Mount Makalu, the fifth-highest mountain in the world. They were found dead in their tent at an elevation of 27,000 feet.
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