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A mountaineer on Everest described the "terrifying" scene of two famous European climbers fighting with Nepalese guides in a high-altitude brawl that has sparked a police investigation.
Ueli Steck, a Swiss national who holds climbing records, and Simone Moro of Italy, who has climbed Everest four times, were approaching the 7,470-metre (24,500 feet) Camp Three on Saturday when the bust-up occurred.
The American eyewitness, speaking to AFP by telephone and on condition of anonymity, said Steck and Moro were asked to wait on the mountain while a group of Nepalese rigged up some ropes.
The Europeans, accompanied by a photographer recording their attempt to climb the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) mountain by a new "undisclosed" route without supplementary oxygen, ignored the request and carried on, the eyewitness said.
"The Sherpas told the team not to climb above them while they were fixing the ropes but they did it anyway. Then some ice fell and hit the Sherpas, which made them angry," he said.
Later in the day, a furious mob of Nepalese stormed up towards the climbers' tents and pelted them with stones until the men came outside, after which a loud argument ensued and punches were allegedly thrown.
Tenzing Norgay OSN GM (late May 1914 – 9 May 1986) born Namgyal Wangdi and often referred to as Sherpa Tenzing, was a Nepalese Indian Sherpa mountaineer. Among the most famous mountain climbers in history, he was one of the first two individuals known to have reached the summit of Mount Everest, which he accomplished with Edmund Hillary on 29 May 1953. He was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.