It was not enough for a Nepali Sherpa to climb Mount Everest a record 24th time Tuesday, so he did it twice in the same week. Kami Rita reached the 8,850-meter peak at 6:38 a.m. Tuesday, six days after scaling the world’s tallest mountain for the 23rd time on May 15.
The 49-year-old told Reuters he was not yet done. “I am still strong and want to climb Sagarmatha 25 times,” he said, using the mountain’s Nepali name. Rita has already set a high mark for the climbers of the future. Two other Sherpas have scaled Everest 21 times each, but they have both since retired.
He began climbing Everest in 1994 while working as a guide for companies that organize expeditions. “I never thought about making records,” he told the BBC last week. “I actually never knew that you could make a record. Had I known, I would have made a lot more summits earlier.”
Besides Everest, Rita has scaled some of the other highest mountains, K-2, Cho-Oyu, Manaslu and Lhotse. This year, Nepal has granted 381 climbing permits to 44 teams. Of those, 14 are Nepali, according to the Department of Tourism.
As of Monday, at least 75 climbers had reached the top of Everest, according to The Rising Nepal. May offers a short window of favorable weather for the climbers.
Everest was first conquered in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. Their route is the same one Rita and many other climbers still use today. (VOA)