In 2019, Sherpa Broke Everest Record. Now, Yet Again

Kami Rita Sherpa has climbed world's tallest mountain 25 times
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2021 6:30 AM CDT
In 2019, Sherpa Broke Everest Record. Now, Yet Again
In this May 20, 2018, file photo, Nepalese veteran Sherpa guide Kami Rita is seen in Kathmandu, Nepal.   (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha, File)

(Newser) – For the past 27 years, Kami Rita Sherpa has been ascending and descending Mount Everest, part of expedition teams bent on conquering the mountain. In 2019, the Nepalese man set a world record for the most summits of the world's tallest mountain, making it to the top and back two dozen times. Now, he's beat his own record: A tourism official says Kami scaled Everest for the 25th time on Friday, reports Reuters. "Sherpa reached the summit of Mount Everest at 6pm local time," Nepal tourism official Mira Acharya told the Xinhua news agency, via Weather.com. She called Kami's feat, accomplished with 11 other Sherpas along the Southeast Ridge route, "the season's first success," per Reuters.

The 29,032-foot mountain had been shut down due to COVID since March 2020, marring Kami's plans to make his 25th climb last year. It reopened to climbers this spring, with a record number of climbing permits issued. "It isn't about breaking records," the 51-year-old told AFP before his most recent ascent, via Deutsche Welle. "My aim was to celebrate my silver jubilee by climbing 25 times in 2020 at the age of 50, but COVID didn't let that happen. So this year I will make my dream come true." Kami made his first Everest ascent in 1994 as part of a commercial expedition, and he hasn't been able to stop since. In 2019, he made his 23rd and 24th climb within a week of each other. Kami has four climbs more than at least two other Sherpas, who claim 21 each, an ex-director of the Nepal Mountaineering Association tells Reuters. No word yet on whether he'll now retire, as he's said in the past he'd do after his 25th climb. (There are fears of a COVID outbreak at Everest's base camp.)

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