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Naked Everest climber sparks anger

Naked Everest climber sparks anger

Lakpa Tharke stood naked for three minutes in freezing conditions on the 8,850-metre summit of Mount Everest.

Kathmandu: The head of the Nepal Mountaineering Association urged the government on Saturday to take action against a sherpa who reportedly stripped off on top of Mount Everest.

The Himalayan Times had reported on Friday that the Nepali climbing guide, whose name it gave as Lakpa Tharke, stood naked for three minutes in freezing conditions on the 8,850-metre 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.

Head of Nepal's top mountaineering body, Ang Tshering Sherpa, 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," he added.

Authorities have yet to comment.

But the climb's organisers 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.

Nepal is home to eight of the world's 14 highest mountains, including Mount Everest.

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

first published:May 27, 2006, 16:00 IST