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Mexican climber sets Mount Everest record

KATMANDU, Nepal A Mexican climber has been recognized as the first person to scale Mount Everest from both the north and south sides in the same climbing season.

David Liano Gonzalez, 33, of Mexico City, was issued a certificate by the Guinness World Records.

Gonzalez received the certificate from International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation chief Frits Vrijlandt at a ceremony in Katmandu on Thursday.

Gonzalez scaled the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) mountain from the southern face of the peak Nepal on May 11 and again from the Tibetan side on the north on May 19.

"I think trying the double summit and achieving it for the first time in history, it was just as challenging as it was in my first time in 2005," Gonzalez said. "The mountain is the same but at the same time it was different."

He said he was fortunate that higher elevations were not crowded with other climbers during the busy climbing season.

"One of my thoughts on summit day was that I was fortunate to be able to summit alone, to have it for me and my sherpa as Edmund Hillary and Tenzing were lucky 60 years ago to have the mountain to themselves," said Gonzalez, who first climbed Everest in 2005 and again in 2008 and 2010. He has now made it to the summit five times.

Everest was conquered on May 29, 1953. Nepal celebrated the 60th anniversary of the conquest by Hillary and his guide Tenzing Norgay on Wednesday by honoring veteran climbers.

Gonzalez now plans to sail solo around the world later this year, and then one day paraglide off the Everest summit.

"I am also a paragliding pilot and one of my passions is flying off the summits of very high peaks," he said.

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