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Everest speed ascent record contested
10:01 a.m. EDT Jun 17, 2003
There seems to be much controversy surrounding speed ascents these days. This past year saw lots of debate on a Rainier speed ascent here in America, and now an Everest speed ascent is in question.

This past spring saw two Everest speed ascents. First Pemba Dorjee Sherpa (on left) broke the late Babuís record of 16 hrs 56, by setting a blazing time of 12 hrs 45 min. (BC to Summit)

Then just days later, Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa (on right) bettered Pemba's record with a time of 10 hours and 56 minutes. Now, Pemba is saying that Lhakpa did not climb Everest in that time and that several climbers have reported seeing Lhakpa on his way up, after the recorded summit time.

Lhakpa says that he can furnish pictures from the summit and has a witness. Appa Sherpa, who reached the summit for a record 13th time was there and used Lhakpa's radio to call down to BC and confirm the summit.

The Nepali Ministry of Tourism has received a written complaint by Pemba and has asked for Lhakpa to present his evidence to them in order to review the record.

Images of Pemba Dorjee Sherpa and Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa courtesy of BaseCampMD.com

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