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Nepal wants YOU to help resolve Everest speed ascent dispute
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Jul 23, 2004 10: 13 EST
Yes, all you Everest climbers from this past spring, the Ministry has just sent us an open letter asking for any information relevant to the controversy surrounding Pemba Dorjie's record ascent of Mt. Everest on May 21st, 2004.

After Pemba’s record setting 8 hour and 10 minute ascent from the South Side, the previous record holder, Lhakpa Gelu, challenged Pemba, “The weather was so bad that day there is no way [Pemba] could have made the climb." As a result, the Ministry has formed a 7-member committee to get to the bottom of this. What are they looking for? Information – pictures or videos from the summit with specific date and time, also if you left any banners/flags/mementos on the summit, they want to know about that too. Pemba made the record ascent the evening of May 20th, going into the morning of the 21st.

If you can help in anyway, the person to contact is Ang Karma Sherpa at Winhorse@wlink.com.np

The Ministry’s open letter:

Dear .......

As you may be in knowledge of, the record setting climb of Mt. Everest by Pemba Dorjee Sherpa on 21 May 2004 in 8 hours 10 minutes from the base camp to summit via the South Col - SE Ridge route has been challenged by Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa, who climbed Mt. Everest by the same route in 10 hours 56 minutes on 19 May 2003 and set the previous fastest record of climbing Mt. Everest.

With view to find facts relating Pemba Dorjee Sherpa's claim of latest speed record ascent of Mt. Everest and to clear this controversy which concerns all the mountaineering community (for once and all) , His Majesty's Government of Nepal, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation has formed a 7 members probe committee comprising the officials of Ministry and representative from the associations involved in this field.

Starting its work a little over a month ago, the probe committee has interviewed Nepali guides who were on the mountain during this time and has collected information and material evidence relevant to this controversy. More to the information and material evidence available here, we have felt the information from the members of expedition teams that were on Mt. Everest for this spring season will also be instrumental in the preparation of the probe committee's report which will be presented to the Ministry for a final decision. We are therefore looking forward your expedition help to assist the probe committee's work and request for the following information / material that your team may be in possession of:

- Mementos such as flags, banners or other things left by your expedition members if they have reached the summit of Mt. Everest

- Pictures, videos taken on the summit taken on the summit. (Kindly mention the time, date and the name of the climbers in relating to above information)

Other information you think will be helpful for the probe committee's works We look for your utmost support and co-operation in this matter!

Ang Karma Sherpa
Probe Committee Member

Everest speed ascent history

Oct 5, 1990, Marc Batard (no O2): 22 hrs 29 min
Oct 17, 1998, Kaji Sherpa (with O2): 20 hrs 24 min
May 21, 2000, Babu Chiri Sherpa (with O2): 16 hrs 56 min
May 22, 2003, Pemba Dorjie Sherpa (with O2): 12 hrs and 45 min
May 25, 2003, Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa (with O2): 10 hrs 56 min
May 21, 2004, Pemba Dorjie Sherpa (with O2): 8 hrs 10 min

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

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