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Nepal's 'Everest Man' claims record 29th summit

Agence France-Presse
Nepal's 'Everest Man' claims record 29th summit
In this photograph taken on January 19, 2021, Nepal's mountaineer Kami Rita Sherpa poses along with his certificates in his rented room at Boudhanath Stupa area on the outskirts of Kathmandu.
AFP / Prakash Mathema

KATHMANDU, Nepal — Nepali climber Kami Rita Sherpa reached the top of Mount Everest for the 29th time Sunday, breaking his own record for the most summits of the world's highest mountain.

"Kami Rita reached the summit this morning. Now he has made a new record with 29 summits of Everest," Mingma Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks, his expedition organiser, told AFP.

A guide for more than two decades, Sherpa, also known as "Everest Man", first summited the 8,849-metre (29,032-foot) peak in 1994 when working for a commercial expedition.

Since then he has climbed Everest almost every year, guiding clients. It was not immediately clear whether he had a client with him on Sunday.

"Back again for the 29th summit to the top of the world... One man's job, another man/woman's dream," Sherpa posted on his Instagram from base camp last week.

Last year, Sherpa climbed Everest twice to reclaim his record as another guide, Pasang Dawa Sherpa, equalled his number of ascents.

Sherpa, 54, has previously said that he has been "just working" and did not plan on setting records.

He has also conquered other challenging 8,000-metre peaks including the world's second-highest mountain, K2 in Pakistan.

Nepal has issued 414 Everest permits to mountaineers for this year's spring climbing season, which runs from April to early June.

Most Everest hopefuls are escorted by a Nepali guide, meaning more than 800 climbers will tread the path to the top of the world's highest peak in the coming weeks after a group of Nepali climbers opened the route to the summit on Friday.

This year, China also reopened the Tibetan route to foreigners for the first time since closing it in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nepal is home to eight of the world's 10 highest peaks and welcomes hundreds of adventurers each spring, when temperatures are warm and winds are typically calm.

A climbing boom has made mountaineering a lucrative business since Edmund Hillary and sherpa Tenzing Norgay made the first ascent in 1953.

Last year, more than 600 climbers made it to the summit of Everest but it was also the deadliest season on the mountain, with 18 fatalities.

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