Nepalese nine-year-old boy training to climb Everest
A nine-year-old Nepalese boy training to become the youngest person to climb Mount Everest has scaled a 6,000-metre peak, a report said.
Tseten Sherpa climbed Mount Ramdung in eastern Nepal last Wednesday, his father Pemba Dorje Sherpa told the Himalayan Times daily, saying he wanted the child to become the youngest person ever to reach the summit of Everest.
Tseten is four years younger than American teenager Jordan Romero, who in May became the youngest person ever to reach the top of Everest, making the difficult and dangerous climb aged just 13.
Pemba, a renowned Nepalese climber who holds the world record for the fastest ascent of Everest, said earlier this year he wanted to find a Nepalese child to beat Romero’s record and was considering taking his son to Everest.
“Nepal is a small country and we do not get much good publicity... I think all the Everest records should be held by Nepalese people,” he said in June.
He said he was hoping to get special dispensation from the government, which does not normally grant climbing permits to anyone under 16.
But Tourism Ministry official Baburam Bhandari said the government would not allow the climber to take his son onto the mountain. “We will not let him climb Mount Everest. Our climbing regulations clearly state that you must be at least 16,” MrBhandari told AFP.
Everest straddles Nepal and China, and Romero obtained his permit to climb from China, which did not have any age restrictions at that time.
His climb provoked criticism from many in the mountaineering community.
David Hillebrandt, medical adviser to the British Mountaineering Council, said it was “totally against the spirit of true mountaineering”, and questioned whether Romero was sufficiently mature to make the decision to climb.
Around 3,000 people have climbed Everest since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first people to conquer the 8,848-metre peak in 1953. These include three Maltese – Gregory Attard, Marco Cremona and Robert Gatt – who reached the top of the Everest last May.
Several hundred have died, many of them falling to their deaths or succumbing to altitude sickness during the gruelling ascent.