Nepalese mountaineer Kami Rita Sherpa on Wednesday scaled Everest for the 27th time, setting a record for the most climbs on the world’s highest mountain.
“He successfully reached the summit this morning under the guidance of a Vietnamese climber,” Mingma Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks told AFP.
But this year’s Everest climbing season got off to a tragic start with the disappearance of three Nepalese climbers in April and an American in early May. And earlier on Wednesday, a 46-year-old Moldovan climber died on the mountain.
Eight of the world’s ten highest peaks are found in Nepal, including Everest, which reaches a height of 8,849 metres, and plays host to hundreds of climbers each season, when temperatures are warm and winds are generally mild. They are weak.
On Wednesday, British mountain guide Kenton Cool, 49, scaled Everest for the 17th time, surpassing his own record for most summits by a non-Nepalese.
Kami Rita Sherpa, 53, set the record in 2018 when she made her 22nd ascent of Everest. But last Sunday, 46-year-old Nepali climber Pasang Dawa Sherpa equaled Kami Rita Sherpa’s previous record of 26 climbs.
– ‘The Man from Everest’ –
Known as “The Man from Everest”, Sherpa was born in 1970 in Thame, a village in the Himalayas from which many successful climbers have come.
He grew up in the Himalayan valley watching his father and then his brother go on expeditions as mountain guides before following in their footsteps.
With over two decades as a guide, he first climbed Everest in 1994 while working for a commercial expedition.
Since then, he has climbed that mountain almost every year, often leading the first team to tie ropes to open a way to the highest point on the planet.
“These trails were reached not with the intention of making them, but as part of my work as a guide,” a Sherpa told AFP on his way to base camp a few weeks ago.
The country’s authorities have issued 478 permits to foreign climbers this year with a fee of $11,000. With this, the total cost of climbing Everest is between $45,000 to $200,000.
As most of them require a guide, this year it is expected that more than 900 people, a record, will attempt to climb the world’s highest peak in the current season, which ends in early June Is.
The Himalayan mountaineering industry generally relies on the experience of guides from Everest valleys.
They pay a heavy price to go to the “Top of the World” along with hundreds of other adventurers every year. One third of those killed on Everest are Nepali climbers.