A 52-year-old Nepali Sherpa has climbed Mount Everest for the 26th time, bettering his own record for most number of times to scale the world’s highest peak, expedition planners said on Sunday.
Kami Rita and his group of 11 Sherpa guides summited the 8,848.86-metre peak at 6.55 pm (local time), said Dawa Sherpa, manager of Seven Summit Treks Pvt Ltd. The Sherpas went on the expedition to fix ropes along the trekking route, to help climbers ahead of the peak climbing season which has now begun.
The group climbed through the traditional southeast ridge route which was pioneered by New Zealand’s Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepali Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953. This year, the Department of Tourism, Nepal, has issued permits to 316 individuals to climb the peak.
Rita scaled Mt Everest for the first time on May 13, 1994. Besides Mt Everest, Rita has also scaled Mt Godwin-Austen (K2), Mt Lhotse, Mt Manaslu and Mt Cho Oyu. He also holds the record for most climbs over 8,000 metres.
Till date, Everest has been climbed 10,657 times; many have climbed the peak multiple times. Over 300 people have died trying to scale the peak.
Meanwhile, an Indian climber died during a summit push on Mount Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain, a hiking official said on Saturday, May 7, 2022.
The death is the third to be reported in the Nepal Himalayas during the current climbing season which started in March.
Narayanan Iyer, 52, died around 8,200 metres (26,900 feet above sea level) while trying to reach the 8,586 metre (28,169 feet) peak on Thursday, May 5, 2022, said Nivesh Karki, an official of the hiking company that organised the expedition.
“Iyer’s guide advised him to turn back after he was feeling unwell but he refused,” Karki said while confirming the death.
Last month, a Greek climber and a Nepali Sherpa guide died on other peaks.
Mountain climbing is the main tourism activity and a key source of income as well as employment in Nepal, which has eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, including Mount Everest.
More than 900 foreign mountaineers have received permits to climb 26 Himalayan peaks in Nepal, including Mount Everest, during the current season ending in May.