Tuesday 15 October 2019

Sherpa guide breaks own record by climbing Everest for 24th time

Kami Rita is targeting 25 ascents of Everest before he retires from high mountain climbing.

Nepalese veteran Sherpa guide, Kami Rita (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha, File)
Nepalese veteran Sherpa guide, Kami Rita (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha, File)

By Binaj Gurubacharya, Associated Press

A Sherpa mountaineer has extended his record for successful climbs of Mount Everest with his 24th ascent of the world’s highest peak.

Kami Rita reached the 29,035-foot peak on Tuesday, which was his second time on the summit in a week. He climbed to the top on May 15 then returned to base camp before climbing again this week.

Nepal Department of Tourism official Mira Acharya said Rita reached the summit on Tuesday along with several other climbers taking advantage of favourable weather.

There are 41 teams with a total of 378 climbers permitted to scale Everest during the spring climbing season. An equal number of Nepalese guides are helping them to get to the summit.

Several climbers have already, while dozens are expected to make their attempt this week.

Only a few windows of good weather each May allow climbers the best chance of climbing to Everest’s summit.

Tuesday’s climb brings Rita, 49, closer to his target of 25 ascents of Everest before he retires from high mountain climbing.

Rita’s two closest peers have climbed the peak 21 times each, but both of them have retired from mountain climbing.

Rita first scaled Everest in 1994 and has been making the trip nearly every year since.

His father was among the first Sherpa guides employed to help climbers reach the summit, and Rita followed in his footsteps. In addition to his nearly two dozen summits of Everest, Rita has scaled some of the other highest mountains, K-2, Cho-Oyu, Manaslu and Lhotse.

Sherpa tribespeople were mostly yak herders and traders living deep within the Himalayas until Nepal opened its borders in the 1950s. Their stamina and familiarity with the mountains quickly made them sought-after guides and porters.

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