5 climbers try to climb Everest during harsh winter

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KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) – Five climbers are trying to climb Mount Everest, battling extreme cold, high winds and stacked snow and ice as they try to become the first to reach the top of the highest mountain in the winter in 27. years, an official said Wednesday.

The climbers – three from Spain and two from Germany – are already getting used to the Everest base camp area as they wait for weather conditions to improve, said Meera Acharya of Nepal's Mountaineering Department.

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They are expected to be accompanied by Nepalese Sherpa guides, but it has not yet been decided how many would climb the slope with them.

Although there are no rules prohibiting climbers from attempting to climb Everest during the winter, only a few reached the 8,850-meter peak of the mountain during that season. The feat was first performed in 1980 and has not occurred since 1993.

Everest is mostly climbed during spring, April and May, when weather conditions are favorable.



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