Mount Everest challengers were forced to cancel their mountain climb following a brawl with a group of Sherpas who have been accused of orchestrating a "mob" attack.
Three European climbers, who became involved in a brawl with their Nepalese guides, have cancelled their trip and planned return flights from the Himalayas. The men claim that they were violently attacked by a "mob" of Sherpa people after one of the men accidentally dropped ice below.
"Famed mountaineers Ueli Steck of Switzerland and Simone Moro of Italy, accompanied by British alpine photographer Jonathan Griffith, claimed they were attacked by an 'out-of-control mob' on Saturday," an Agence France Presse report stated.
"An American eyewitness said the Europeans had ignored a request from Nepalese guides to wait during their ascent, and dislodged ice that hit the Sherpas below, sparking a 'terrifying' clash at 6,500 meters (21,300 ft)," the report stated.
The clash involved a group of Nepalese who bombarded that climbers' camp and began pelting stones at the three men's tents. Blows landed, and the Sherpas reportedly threatened the men with death.
A second group of Westerners stepped in to deflate the situation. The climbers then packed their belongings to leave.
"After a while the mob left, and the climbers packed up and walked past us down -- as far as we knew they were leaving the mountain," an eyewitness told AFP. "It was terrifying to watch -- they nearly got killed."
A mediation meeting was later scheduled between the European climbers and the Nepalese. Both groups agreed Monday to "commit not to go into conflict or use violence."