China Summits Everest With Torch

Well, they did it. Defying horrible weather, political pressure, protests, and conventional wisdom, a climbing team from China summited Everest Thursday morning, bringing the Olympic flame with them to the top of the world. The carefully-staged siege of the mountain ended early, as the Chinese earmarked more time and blocked access to Everest until May 10. Early reports say that climbers on the Nepalese side have already begun to move up the mountain to higher camps.

China flew Chinese and Olympic flags from the summit, and 22 of the climbing team’s 31 members were Tibetan, and Tibetan woman Ceran Wangmo walked the last few meters of the climb with the torch. As she reached the top, the team shouted “Beijing welcomes you!”

The torch’s journey is far from over; now it will pass through Tibet and Xinjiang on its way to Beijing, where the Olympics are set to begin in three months.

The Chinese took video for posterity’s sake. Check it:

Olympic torch on Everest peak (Reuters)