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Backpackers 'flocking' to conquer Everest

26 January 2009 11:05

Backpackers 'flocking' to conquer Everest

Backpackers have been flocking in droves to Mount Everest, new figures released by the Chinese government have shown.

Over 40,200 tourists visited Mount Everest in 2007 with more expected to follow in 2008 as the focus of the world's attention turns to China for the Beijing Olympics.

New walking and driving routes to explore the mountain have recently been opened by the government, contributing to the popularity of the region in Tibet.

In addition, the Olympic torch will ascend Mount Everest before making its way to Beijing in time for the August 8th opening ceremony.

Adventurous backpackers who visit the area are being advised by travel insurance experts to ensure that they are adequately covered.

Mount Everest is the highest mountain on earth at 8,848 meters or 29,028 feet about sea level at its summit.

Attempts to climb to the summit began in 1924, with two Britons never to return from the endeavour, before Sir Edmund Hilary and Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay finally succeeding on May 29th 1953.