21 May 2009

Fiennes conquers Everest on third attempt

8:57 pm on 21 May 2009

Veteran British adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has reached the summit of Everest on his third attempt at conquering the world's highest mountain.

According to a statement from his campaign team, Fiennes, 65, arrived at the top of the 8,848-metre peak just before midnight GMT on Wednesday.

He began his latest attempt to climb the mountain three weeks ago.

Fiennes was the first explorer to complete a tour of the world on foot and then sailed between the two poles in 1982 before crossing Antarctica on foot in 1993.

He has run numerous marathons, including one in Egypt four months after suffering a near-fatal heart attack in 2003.

Fiennes had a heart attack on his first attempt to climb Mt Everest in 2005 and turned back because of exhaustion last year.

Sherpa's record climb

A Nepalese sherpa carrying a banner reading "Stop Climate Change" has climbed Mt Everest for a record 19th time.

Apa Sherpa, who lives in the United States, reached the summit along the South-east Ridge route pioneered by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953.

The 49-year-old's sponsors say the climb is growing increasingly challenging because climate change has melted ice, exposed steep rocks and widened crevasses.

Environmental activists say the Himalayan glaciers are rapidly shrinking, threatening the lives of millions of people who depend on them for water.