Katmandu — An American team hoping to make the first U.S. conquest of Mount Everest by the treacherous west ridge route pitched camp at the 20,000foot Lo Lha pass, the Ministry of Tourism said Sunday.

The 21member expedition led by David Saas, 48, a pilot from Loveland, Colo., had pitched a base camp March 15 at the foot of the Khumbu icefall, beginning their bid to climb the world’s tallest peak.

Having clambered over landslide prone cliffs for five days, the team pitched their first camp on the mountainside March 20 at the Lo Lha pass about 20,000 feet high, the ministry said.

Americans have made six successful ascents of the 29,029foot mountain, four from the Nepalese side and two from Tibet, but they have never made it all the way up the steep, slippery west ridge route.

Article extracted from this publication >>  April 5, 1985