A Sherpa guide has scaled Mount Everest for the 25th time, breaking his own record for the most ascents of the world’s highest peak.
Kami Rita and 11 other Sherpa guides reached the summit on Friday evening, Department of Tourism official Mira Acharya said.
They are the first group of climbers to reach the summit this year and were fixing ropes on the icy route so hundreds of other climbers can scale the peak later this month.
Everest was closed to climbing last year on its southern side, in Nepal, because of the coronavirus pandemic, but permits have been issued this year to 408 foreign climbers.
Mr Rita, 51, first scaled Everest in 1994 and has been making the trip nearly every year since then.
He is one of many guides whose expertise and skills are vital to the safety and success of hundreds of climbers who head to Nepal each year seeking to stand on top of the 29,032ft mountain.
His father was among the first Sherpa guides, and Mr Rita followed in his footsteps. In addition to his 25 times to the top of Everest, he has scaled several other peaks that are among the world’s highest, including K-2, Cho-Oyu, Manaslu and Lhotse.
He was at Everest’s base camp in 2015 when an avalanche swept through, killing 19 people. Afterwards, he came under intense family pressure to quit mountaineering, but decided against it.
Forty-three teams have been permitted to scale Everest during this year’s spring climbing season and will be assisted by about 400 Nepalese guides.
Each May, there are usually only a few windows of good weather at the summit during which climbers can attempt to scale the peak.