BEIJING - China has begun building a highway to Mount Everest base camp,
partly to smooth the way for the carrying of the Olympic torch up to the highest
peak in the world, Chinese press reported Tuesday.
File photo of the Mount Everest.
The new road will begin at the base of the mountain in China's Tibet region
and replace a rough 108-kilometre (67-mile) track that leads to the northern
base camp, the Xinhua news agency reported.
Construction of the 150-million-yuan (20-million-dollar) highway began on
Monday and will take about four months to complete, according to Xinhua.
The road is being built to "ease the path of those bearing the Olympic
torch," Xinhua said.
Organisers of next year's Beijing Olympics have said they intend to include
the summit of Mount Everest in the 130-day torch relay leading up to the Games.
The relay, which will traverse five continents, will begin in Beijing on
March 31 next year, with the attempt to reach the summit of Everest slated for
The Xinhua report also said the new highway would help ease the way for the
growing number of tourists who are travelling to base camp, which is 5,200
metres (17,160 feet) above sea level.