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 Tuesday, 31 December, 2002, 13:18 GMT
Multi-faith bid to scale Everest
Mt. Everest's south face
Ten mountaineers will climb for peace and tolerance

A multi-religious expedition to climb the world's highest peak promoting peace and religious tolerance has been announced in Nepal.

Organisers say a team of 10 climbers representing seven major faiths from around the world will try to climb Mount Everest next year.

The landmark event coincides with the 50th anniversary of the first ascent of the mountain.

The climb is being organised by a non-governmental charity, the Everest Peace Project.

Route

Lance Trumbull, a spokesman for the group, said the climbers would follow the southern side of the mountain in Nepal on their way to the summit.

Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary
The first conquerors: Norgay and Hillary
The northern side of the 8,850-metre mountain lies in Tibet, a province of China.

Mr Trumbull told reporters the climbers would try to reach the summit in May 2003.

It was in that month 50 years ago that Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first men to climb Everest.

More than 1,200 people have followed them to the peak so far.

Sherpa veteran

Nearly 200 people have been killed during or after their Everest climb.

Despite the risks the Everest continues to lure the world's climbers.

Mr Trumbull said 200 climbers had applied for the multi-religious Everest campaign.

He said Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Confucian and Taoist climbers would form the Everest peace team.

He said that the team would also include the veteran Nepalese climber, Ang Rita Sherpa, who has climbed the mountain 10 times without using oxygen packs.

See also:

25 Mar 02 | South Asia
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