Olympic torch lit on Everest summit
UPDATE: 8:00p.m. May 7, Chinese climbers brings Olympic torch to summit.
Chinese television showed the climbers, carrying special high-altitude torches, reaching the summit at 0920 local time (0100GMT).
Huddled in the snow they unfurled flags and cheered for the cameras.
Correspondents say China is hoping the dramatic feat will counter some of the damaging publicity from the protests during the torch's international relay.
The climbers, dressed in red padded anoraks bearing the Beijing Olympic logo, passed the flame between several torches as they traversed the icy slopes on the final steps to the summit.
Holding up Chinese and Olympic flags, they cheered "Beijing welcomes you!" and "One World, One Dream", the official slogan of the Beijing Olympics.
The first and last of the torch-bearers were Tibetan women.
"We have lit this torch on the top of the world for harmony and peace," said one of the mountaineers.
Previously, the Olympic flame will make its final attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest tomorrow morning, after a delay and numerous controversies surrounding the journey have slowed the torch's progress.
The command centre has given its order for the final assault tomorrow," Shao Shiwei of the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) told reporters.
Bad weather over the weekend had denied mountaineers the chance to take the flame to the top of the world's highest mountain in what China hopes will be the defining moment of the torch relay ahead of the Beijing Games in August.
But calm, sunny weather over the last three days has allowed the climbers to repair damage to their camps and organisers are confident the flame will be burning at the 8,848-metre peak on Thursday, exactly three months before the Games open.
The 12-strong team, chosen from a pool of 31 climbers, willbe led by Tibetan Nima Ciren and backed up by a team of seven further mountaineers, Shao said.
"All the climbing torch bearers are in good physical condition," he added. "We hope they will make a successful final assault."
Shao said the ascent would be broadcast live on state television from early morning with the climbers expected to light the torch on the 8,848-metre peak after climbing for around five hours.
The Everest flame is separate from the main Olympic torch that arrived in mainland China on Sunday after a protest-marred international relay which embarrassed officials and sparked a wave of nationalistic fervor at home.
Organisers have kept exact plans for the Everest ascent secret for fear that it may also draw protests by pro-Tibet activists. Both Nepal and China have sealed off the area.