Sherpa guides scale Mount Everest at start of spring season

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) A group of eight Nepalese Sherpa guides reached the summit of Mount Everest on Sunday, fixing ropes and clearing paths for other climbers to begin their ascent to the peak, a government official said.

The guides were among the first climbers to reach the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) summit this spring climbing season, said tourism official Gyanendra Shrestha. Since the weather is clear, scores of climbers are expected to follow in the next couple of days.

Some 340 foreign climbers and many Nepalese Sherpa guides are attempting to climb Everest this month.

Expert Sherpa guides are chosen to open up the path to the summit and fix ropes for other climbers.

The popular spring season runs from March until the end of May, after which weather conditions on the mountain begin to deteriorate. There are only about a couple of days of windows of good weather on the highest part of the peak in May, when climbers rush to attempt their way to the summit.