Sherpa guide climbs Everest for record 22nd time

A veteran Sherpa guide has scaled Mount Everest for the 22nd time, setting the record for most climbs of the world's highest mountain, officials said.

Kami Rita reached the summit on Wednesday morning with a team of foreign climbers and a fellow Sherpa guide and is safely descending to a lower camp, said Gyanendra Shrestha, a government official stationed at base camp.

Mr Rita, 48, had been among the three men who had tied the previous record of 21 successful ascents of the 29,000ft peak.

Before leaving for the mountain last month, he said he wanted to scale Everest at least 25 times.

Mountaineering has been his family tradition. His father was among the first professional guides after Nepal opened to foreign trekkers and mountaineers in 1950, and his brother has scaled Everest 17 times.

Most of his male relatives have reached the top least once.

Mr Rita first scaled Everest at 24, and has made the trip almost every year since then.

He has also climbed many of the region's other high peaks, including K-2, Cho-Oyu, Manaslu and Lhotse. In the autumn, he guides clients to smaller peaks in Nepal.

The other two summit record-holders are also Nepalese Sherpa guides.

Apa, 58, retired in 2011 and moved to Utah. Phurba Tashi, 47, retired from high-altitude climbing in 2013 but still works at Everest's base camp, helping to organise expeditions.

Dozens of climbers are expected to scale the top on Wednesday, taking advantage of the good weather on the mountain, according to Mr Shrestha

The route to the summit was opened up by a team of Sherpas earlier this week.

More than 340 foreign climbers and several local guides are attempting to climb Everest this month.

 

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