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Naked on Everest: a peek on the peak?

Reuters, UK
May 27, 2006
today.reuters.com

ReligionNewsBlog.com • Tuesday May 30, 2006

KATHMANDU (Reuters) – The head of the Nepal Mountaineering Association urged the government Saturday to take action against a sherpa who reportedly stripped on top of Mount Everest.

The Himalayan Times had reported Friday that the Nepali climbing guide, whose name it gave as Lakpa Tharke, stood naked for three minutes in freezing conditions on the 29,035-foot summit of the world’s highest peak.

If confirmed, he would be the first person known to have stripped atop Everest, considered by Nepali Buddhists as a god.

Ang Tshering Sherpa, head of Nepal’s top mountaineering body, said he could not confirm that the incident had happened.

“But if he did it, it is very shocking because Sagarmatha is the goddess mother,” he said, using the mountain’s Nepali name.

“The government must enforce strict ethics for climbing.”

Authorities have yet to comment.

But the climb’s organizers seemed happy enough with Lakpa Thaeke’s strip.

“We are planning to file his extraordinary feat for the Guinness Book of World Records,” the paper quoted an official of the hiking group that employs Tharke as saying.

At least 1,345 people have climbed Everest since 1953 from either the Nepali or Tibetan side.

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