Swede to ski down Everest’s north side

Two Scandinavian adventurers said on Wednesday that they had set off to become the first people to ski down the north side of Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain.

“We’re leaving for Everest today,” Tomas Olsson, a Swede, told AFP from Chamonix, France, where he has prepared for months for the challenge.

Olsson and Norwegian co-climber Tormod Granheim are planning to set up base camp at 6,400 metres and hike and climb peaks at that altitude to get acclimatized.

Sometime in May, they hope to climb to the 8,850 metre summit in one go, and then ski down the north side in a clean run, which has never been done before.

Olsson previously climbed Peak Lenin in Tajikistan, Couloir du Diable in France, Muztagh Ata and Kuksay Peak in China and 8,200-metre high Cho Oyu in Tibet.

As part of his preparations for the latest challenge, Olsson cycled from Stockholm to Chamonix in July, using a hybrid bike to travel the 2,000 kilometres in stages of 150 to 200 kilometres per day. He then climbed Mont Blanc, and cycled back again.

Olsson said his role model is the late Swedish adventurer Göran Kropp who in 1996 rode his bike 7,000 miles from Sweden to Nepal and climbed Everest without porters or extra oxygen.

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