A Washington woman has become only the third American woman to scale Mount Everest, achieving the feat with her Russian husband, officials said Wednesday.

The ministry also announced the death of three members of a seven-member Soviet climbing team on 26,758-foot Mount Manaslu on Sunday.Catherine Gibson, 35, of Seattle, conquered 29,029-foot Everest on Sunday with her husband Aleksei Karasnokutsky, 41, and Phinzu Sherpa, 22, after an eight-hour climb from the fourth camp at 26,247 feet.

Gibson became the 14th woman to climb the world's highest peak.

She and Karasnokutsky are the second couple to step on the summit recently. Last week a Yugoslavian couple reached the summit. Also last week, women from Yugoslavian and France recorded the first female ascents for their nations, officials said.

An 11-member American expedition, led by 44-year-old Hooman Aprin, a mountain guide from Jackson, Wyo., last week put two Americans, one Canadian and a Sherpa guide on the summit in two groups.

Sunday's occurred at about 23,622 feet. The climbers who died were identified as Grigori Lunjakov, 35, Zinur Khalitov, 39, and Murat Galief, 29.