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Auburn man summits Everest, Swiss man dies in seperate climb

Post by Craig Hill / The News Tribune on May 23, 2008 at 3:19 pm with No Comments »
May 23, 2008 3:19 pm

Justin Merle of Auburn was among a record 75 climbers who summited Mount Everest Thursday, according to the International Mountain Guides’ website.

It was the second summit of the 29,035-foot mountain for Merle, a 29-year-old guide for Ashford’s IMG.

The record for climbers to summit on a single day broke the previous record of 63 set in 2002, a Nepalese official told the Associated Press Friday.

Merle guided an IMG group that included two clients – Dean Smith of Toronto and Jaroslaw Hawrylewicz of New York – and two sherpas – Minga Tenzing and Tsewang Lendu. All were part of the record summit day.

In total IMG has put 20 climbers on the summit this spring, with another party approaching the summit Friday night, IMG director Eric Simonson said.

"It’s been a busy year (on Everest),"Simonson said. "But the weather has been good."

Thursday’s mountaineering milestone was confirmed as news came that a Swiss climber had died on his way down from the summit.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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