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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 July, 2003, 14:45 GMT 15:45 UK
Everest speed record ruling
By Navin Khadka
BBC reporter in Kathmandu

The Nepalese Government has confirmed that Lakpa Gelu Sherpa is the fastest person to climb Mount Everest, dismissing a rival claim to the title.

Sherpa Pemba Dorjie
Pemba Dorjie disputed the record of his rival
Lakpa Gelu Sherpa made his record-breaking ascent of the world's highest peak in 10 hours and 56 minutes on 26 May during Everest's Golden Jubilee celebrations.

But his claim was challenged by Pemba Dorje Sherpa who had himself set a new record of 12 hours and 45 minutes three days earlier.

Pemba Dorje questioned the authenticity of Lakpa Gelu's record and petitioned the Tourism Ministry for an official investigation into the expedition.

Evidence

On Wednesday the Ministry said that it had interviewed another Everest record climber, Appa Sherpa, and members of the Royal Nepalese Army expedition team who confirmed Lakpa Gelu's timing.

Appa Sherpa reached the Everest summit for a record 13th time on the same day that Lakpa Gelu made his ascent.

Ministry officials said that Lakpa Gelu's claim was also corroborated by a member of their field staff who had heard about his record-making ascent from base camp.

The ministry said that they had seen photographic evidence which showed that Lakpa Gelu was at the summit of Everest within his declared timeframe.




EVEREST CONQUEST 50 YEARS ON

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