Everest speed record dispute

June 16, 2003 at 2:42 PM
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MOUNT EVEREST, Nepal, June 16 (UPI) -- A Nepalese mountaineer is disputing the time set for the fastest Mount Everest ascent, which broke his own record.

Pemba Dorjie Sherpa says his rival did not climb the mountain in the officially accepted time of 10 hours and 56 minutes, and wants an inquiry.

The BBC says the record holder, Lakba Gelu Sherpa, has denied cheating and says he has all the proof he needs of his achievement.

The climbs took place last month during the golden jubilee of the first Everest ascent.

The schism between the two Sherpas began on May 23 when Pemba Dorje recorded a time of 12 hours and 45 minutes to the summit, knocking nearly four hours off the previous record.

Just three days later, the Nepal government announced that Lakba Gelu had reached the summit in less than 11 hours.

Pemba Dorje says some climbers have reported meeting Lakba Gelu still climbing uphill, several hours after he is recorded as reaching the peak.

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