Airport to be named after Everest climbers

Feb. 11, 2008 at 12:38 PM

KATHMANDU, Nepal, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Lukla, the airstrip near the foot of Mount Everest, is to be named after the first conquerors of the world's tallest peak in Nepal's Himalayan range.

The airstrip, closest to the 29,028-foot Everest, will be called the Tenzing Hillary Airport, the BBC reported, quoting the Himalayan kingdom's Tourism and Civil Aviation Minister Prithvi Subba Gurung.

The new name for the airport honors Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and New Zealand's Edmund Hillary who, May 29, 1953, were the first to scale the peak.

Tenzing Norgay died in 1986 and Hillary died last month in New Zealand, the report said.

Gurung said the route from the airstrip to the 18,500-foot base came of Everest will be named the Tenzing Hillary Trekking Route. The trek through some of the most spectacular sights can take several days depending on the time needed for acclimatization.

Gurung told the BBC the Nepalese government is also considering naming a Himalayan mountain after the two climbers.

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