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Mountaineer from Costa Rica Could Reach Everest Summit this Weekend

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Everest Camp Four in 2009. Source: Purdue University

Warner Rojas is getting closer to his dream of being the first Tico to plant the flag of Costa Rica at the top of Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. According to an article by Manuel Herrera in the national news daily La Nacion, improved weather conditions in the mountainous Nepal region are expected in the next few days.

Mr. Rojas sent a message from the slopes of Mount Everest earlier this week indicating that his climbing team is continuing the arduous ascent. Team members set up camp at 5,360 meters, and they were hoping to reach 6,500 meters before setting up camp again. Should the climb continue as planned, the team will have two more stops before reaching the summit: one at 7,470 meters and the last one at 7,900 meters. The elevation of the mountain is 8,848 meters.

Ticos following Mr. Rojas via NavSat GPS on TeleNoticias channel 7 are anxiously awaiting his message from Camp Four. Once that message is broadcast, Mr. Rojas will find himself just hours away from fulfilling his most significant climbing achievement. Although the current climbing season has been one of the busiest in Nepal, the conditions at Everest have not been the most favorable for the many mountaineers.  Two Sherpa guides have died: Karsang Namgyal and Namgyal Tshering. The latter was climbing  his third summit, while the former had was on his tenth summit.

A massive avalanche down the western slope of Mount Everest disrupted the busy climbing season and injured a Sherpa guide at the end of April, as reported by The Costa Rica Star. One of the expeditions by National Geographic Society to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first summit by an American climber was called off after aerial photography of the west ridge revealed adverse conditions caused by climate change.

According to La Nacion, the Jagged Globe expedition of Mr. Rojas was almost called off weeks ago after the route plan was drastically change by the dislodgement of a massive block of ice caused by unseasonably warm conditions.

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