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04/30/2013

They fought on the Everest, they have now made up. Sort of.

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Mt. Everest was the scene of a brawl between three climbers and sherpas. (AFP)

It was, without doubt, the world’s highest altitude brawl.

On Saturday, three European climbers and a group of sherpas were involved in a fight close to the summit of Mt. Everest. According to various reports, the three climbers and the sherpas became embroiled in a fight when the former refused to wait for their ascent and dislodged ice that hit the sherpas below.

Those who witnessed the altercation say punches were thrown as were rocks and kicks at 23,000 feet.

The fight made headlines across the world.

What a way to start the spring climbing season on Mt. Everest.

Now the two warring groups have kissed and made up.

A two-paragraph agreement, in English and Nepalese, signed by the climbers and the sherpas says that both sides have realized their mistakes and have apologized.

“Both parties agreed to help each other in the future to make successful each others goals,” said the note obtained by CNN from the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

The agreement contains more than two dozen signatures.

Who brokered the peace is not clear but reports say the Nepalese government was quick to step in to assure climbers of their safety.  

A Mt. Everest guide, Adrian Ballinger, blogged that mistakes were probably made on both sides.

But he wrote: “This behavior (brawl) would be wrong anywhere. Above 6,000 meters on a mountain, where we all need to depend on each other to try to minimize accidents, injuries, and death, this behavior does nothing but undermine the bonds between teams and climbers that we depend on.”

Ballinger was not a witness to the brawl but has since heard about it from other climbers and guides.

According to many reports, the three climbers have since left Nepal without summiting the big mountain. They are from Italy, England and Switzerland.

Raveena Aulakh is the Star's environment reporter. She is intrigued by climate change and its impact, now and long-term, and wildlife. Follow her on Twitter @raveenaaulakh

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