Nepalese politicians take part in a cabinet meeting at Kalapattar Plateau near Mt. Everest on December 4, at an altitude of 17,192 feet. Nepalese ministers held their high-altitude meeting on a remote mountain plateau in the shadow of Mt. Everest to highlight the impact of global warming on the Himalayas. Prime Minister Madhav Kumar of Nepal and 22 other ministers, equipped with oxygen cylinders, travelled by helicopter for the gathering on the Kalapattar Plateau in the world's highest mountain range. Prakash Mathema/AFP/Newscom
Nepali Land Reform Minister Dambar Shrestha waits to board a helicopter to attend the cabinet meeting at Everest base camp. Gopal Chitrakar/Reuters
For more than 85 years, summiting Mt. Everest has been and remains one of the world's ultimate challenges. Known in Tibet as the Mother Goddess of the Universe, the mountain has a reputation for attracting swashbuckling adventurers, rogue personalities, and nomadic tribes of climbers. Michael Kodas/Hartford Courant/MCT/Newscom/File
A golfer plays a shot near Namche Bazar, which he hired a helicopter to reach, on March 5. Mt. Everest, the world's highest peak at 29,029 ft, is seen in the background. Gopal Chitrakar/Reuters/File
Tom Noonan (top) of the U.S. and Ganesh Pandey of Nepal perform a tandem skydive at an area near Mt. Everest (background), in Nepal on October 29. The skydivers completed the jump and made a successful landing at the Gorak Shep, Kala Pathar plateau, at an altitude of 17,192 feet, right beside Mt. Everest. This is believed to be the highest skydiving stunt performed over the highest drop zone in the world, according to the organizer. Wendy Smith/Reuters/File
Sherpas with baskets are seen, back-dropped by Mt. Everest. Zuma/Newscom/File
This picture, taken on May 7, 2008, shows tents at the Attack Camp of Mt. Everest, at the altitude of over 27,000 ft. in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region. Chinese climbers carrying the Olympic flame reached the top on May 8. Zuma/Newscom/File
Tenzing Norgay (r.) of Nepal and Edmund P. Hillary of New Zealand stand in the gear they wore when conquering Mt. Everest on May 29, 1953, at the British Embassy in Katmandu, Nepal, June 26 of that year. AP/File
A group of Chinese climbers make their way to the summit of Mt. Everest on May 10. China wants to restrict the number of climbers on Mt. Everest in a bid to protect the harsh but fragile environment on the world's highest mountain. AFP/Newscom/File
Researchers with Caudwell Xtreme Everest are seen measuring blood-oxygen levels on Mt. Everest in 2008. Caudwell Xtreme Everest Project/File
A memorial to dead Mt. Everest climbers is seen on the mountain. Zuma/Newscom/File
Trekkers and porter on trail to Gorak Shep are seen. Zuma/Newscom/File
A deadly avalanche last Friday near Everest base camp has led to walkouts by Sherpas angered by government compensation terms, throwing into doubt the plans of foreign mountaineers.
ByBikash Sangraula, Correspondent
By Nepal’s standards, Kaji Sherpa was on a solid career track. After working as a porter to foreign mountaineers, last year he ascended to the top rank of his profession, becoming a climbing Sherpa, which meant he would accompany foreign climbers to the peak of Mt. Everest.