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Everest Base Camp, China - Snow clouds enveloped Mount Everest yesterday while a lack of information from organisers drew a similarly opaque veil over the attempt to take a special Olympic flame to the world's highest peak.
Shao Shiwei, deputy director of the media department of the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (Bocog), apologised for not being able to say whether snowfall on Saturday and yesterday would affect the project to take the flame to 8848 metres over the next few days.
"It's hard to say if there will be a long delay or not, I don't have any information," he told a news conference.
"At the moment we are still researching and cannot give you a direct effective and satisfactory weather forecast ... We hope we can give you some more information soon."
Detailed plans for when the flame would reach the peak of Everest, while undoubtedly complicated by the weather, have been kept secret from reporters. The journey of the Beijing Olympic torch around the world has been disrupted by anti-Chinese protests over Tibet and officials are determined nothing should mar this event.
While the main torch relay made its first landfall in mainland China yesterday on the tropical island of Hainan, the chances of the climbers carrying the second flame to the top of Everest over the next few days looked slimmer as snow showers continued to hit the area. - Reuters