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Controversy surrounds Everest ascent celebrations

Controversy surrounds Everest ascent celebrations
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Nepal is staging several events this week to mark the 60th anniversary of the conquest of Everest.

Climbers and dignitaries placed flower garlands around two statues of New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay before horse-driven carriages adorned with flowers carried guests to Nepal’s Royal Palace.

It coincides with the ascent of an 80-year-old Japanese
mountain climber who has had four heart surgeries.

Yuichiro Miura reached the top of Mount Everest on Thursday to become the oldest person to conquer the world’s highest mountain.

Everest was first scaled by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on May 29, in 1953. About 4,000 climbers have reached the top of Everest in the ensuing years.

But controversy surrounds Sir Edmund’s ascent and whether he was the first man to reach the summit.

In order to find definitive proof, an Australian adventurer has embarked on an expedition to find evidence that British climber Andrew “Sandy” Irvine was first to scale the peak.

Duncan Chessell, who has begun a final assault on the 29,035ft summit, says conditions are the best they have been in decades to search for the remains of Irvine.

The body of Irvine’s climbing partner, George Mallory, was located by searchers in 1999.

Irvine is thought to have been carrying a camera which could provide conclusive film evidence that the pair reached the top in 1924, almost 30 years before Sir Edmund.