Two Czechs conquer Mount Everest, another dies
May 20, 2007 - 11:07:04 PM

Prague, May 20 - Two Czech mountaineers conquered Mount Everest last week even as one died before reaching its summit.

Just a day after Prague mayor Pavel Bem scaled Mount Everest Friday, Czech reports said that a 47-year-old climber died earlier in the week probably from exhaustion at a camp at 8,300 metres.

The man, whose identity has not been officially confirmed, was likely Brno-based medical doctor Libor Kozak, climbing web sites said.

On Wednesday, 29-year-old Klara Polackova - employed as a London-based communications consultant before her climb - became the first Czech-born woman to scale the 8,848-metre high summit.

She was accompanied by Tashi Tenzing, the grandson of Tenzing Norgay, who together with Edmund Hillary was the first to conquer Mount Everest in 1953.

According to reports, 10 Czechs have so far climbed Mount Everest while 28 out of some 200 climbers who found death on the mountain were Czech or Czechoslovak, CTK news agency reported.

Climbing and mountaineering have been increasingly popular in the Czech Republic in the last decade, said Jakub Turek, the editor of outdoors magazine Hory Doly.

The Czech Mountaineering Association estimates that around 30,000 Czechs climb on regular basis, Turek said.

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