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LOFTY ACCOMPLISHMENTS. Nepalese veteran Sherpa guide Kami Rita is seen in a photograph that shows the climber on Mount Everest during a past climb of the mountain. The photo is on display at his rented apartment in Kathmandu, Nepal. Kami Rita reached the summit the morning of May 16, 2018 with a team of foreign climbers and a fellow Sherpa guide and was already safely descending to a lower camp by the afternoon, according to Gyanendra Shrestha, a government official stationed at base camp. "My goal is to reach the summit of Everest at least 25 times," Rita told The Associated Press before his latest climb, which was his 22nd summit. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha, File)
From The Asian Reporter, V28, #10 (May 21, 2018), page 2.
Two Sherpa guides scale Everest, set new records
By Binaj Gurubacharya
KATHMANDU, Nepal — A veteran Sherpa guide scaled Mount Everest May 16 for the 22nd time, setting a record for the most climbs of the world’s highest mountain, while a female Sherpa made it to the summit for the ninth time, shattering her own record for the most climbs by a woman.
Kami Rita reached the summit the morning of May 16 with a team of foreign climbers and a fellow Sherpa guide and was already safely descending to a lower camp by the afternoon, said Gyanendra Shrestha, a government official stationed at base camp.
The 48-year-old was among three men — all Nepalese Sherpa guides — who had tied the previous record of 21 successful ascents of the 29,035-foot peak.
Before leaving for the mountain in April, Kami Rita told The Associated Press that 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. His brother has scaled Everest 17 times. Most of his male relatives have reached the top at least once.
Kami Rita first scaled Everest at age 24, and has made the trip almost every year since. 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.
Both of the other previous record holders are retired from climbing.
Apa, a 58-year-old guide who uses only one name, 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 organize expeditions.
From the Chinese side of the mountain, Lhakpa Sherpa, 44, reached the summit for a record ninth time, shattering the record for women she set last year.
Rajeev Shrestha of the Seven Summit Adventure agency in Kathmandu said he received a message from base camp about the successful climb. Lhakpa Sherpa lives most of the year in the U.S. state of Connecticut and has a son and two daughters.
Shrestha said a total of 94 climbers reached the summit that day because of good weather conditions.
The route to the summit was opened up by a team of Sherpa guides prior to the trips.
Meanwhile, a 69-year-old double amputee climber from China flew on a helicopter from Everest to Kathmandu, two days after climbing the mountain.
Xia Boyu is not the first double-amputee to reach Everest’s peak, but he is the oldest. He lost his legs after a failed Everest attempt in 1975.
His son, Xia Dengping, who was with him at the airport, told reporters his father is a hero.
He was taken to a hospital for a checkup but appeared to be in good condition.
More than 340 foreign climbers along with their local guides are attempting to climb Everest this month.
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