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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 2 April, 2003, 07:03 GMT 08:03 UK
Marines mark Everest conquest
Mount Everest
The climbers will tackle the steep north-east ridge
Devon-based naval staff are preparing to climb Mount Everest - marking the 50th anniversary of the first conquest.

The 10 Royal Marines and Royal Navy mountaineers will be scaling the summit on one of its most demanding routes and are hoping to make the world's first live television broadcast from there.

The team flew to Kathmandu on Tuesday in preparation for the trek to the mountain on 17 April.

They plan to reach the summit on 27 May to mark the 50th anniversary of the first conquest of Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953.

The team will be climbing the steep and technically-challenging north-east ridge with the help of four Sherpas.

At the expedition's launch earlier this year, its leader Lieutenant Colonel Nicholas Harding, from the Royal Marines, predicted only around three climbers would make it to the top.

"We are not expecting to have 10 people in a fit state to reach the summit," he said, adding that acclimatising to the altitude would be their biggest challenge as they climbed the 29,028ft summit.

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