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Chinese Mountaineers Climbing Toward Summit of Mount Qomolangma
A team of 22 Chinese women mountaineers, working to re-measure the height of Qomolangma, also known as Mount Everest, left the base camp Thursday to head for the summit.

They will first climb to a camp at 7,028 meters above sea level before finally hiking to the summit Sunday or Monday, said Zhang Jiangyuan, the leader of the group. According to China's first measurement in 1975, the peak is 8,848.13 meters above sea level.

"Time for the final assent depends on weather conditions," said Zhang.

The second of group of mountaineers will set off towards the 7, 028-meter-high camp Friday. They are expected to reach the summit a day after the first group, Zhang said.

The ascent of the mountain, which straddles the border of China and Nepal, was originally scheduled for May 5 but has been repeatedly delayed because of poor weather conditions. The peak has seen frequent heavy snows and strong winds since early May. Mountaineering experts say the turbulent weather is rare in recent years.

The expedition is part of China's scientific research program on the mountain, which began in March.


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