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French mountaineer Maurice Herzog dies at 93

AFP

French mountaineer Maurice Herzog, the first person to scale an 8,000-metre peak, died aged 93 on Friday. Herzog climbed the 8,091-metre Annapurna three years before Edmund Hillary conquered Mount Everest.

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French mountaineer Maurice Herzog, the first person to scale an 8,000-metre peak, has died at the age of 93.

Herzog died early Friday, said Pierre You, the president of the French Federation of Mountaineering and Climbing.

A photograph of Herzog waving a French tricolor atop the 8,091-metre (26,545-foot) Annapurna in the Himalayas on June 3, 1950, made front pages around the world,

He and climbing companion Louis Lachenal both lost fingers and toes to frostbite during the expedition, which Herzog later recounted in a best-selling book.

His account of his defining climb, "Annapurna" sold 12 million copies worldwide and was translated into 40 languages.

Though Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the top of Mount Everest three years later, Annapurna was not scaled again for 20 years.

(France24 with wires)

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