Published: 11:10, June 12, 2024
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Sherpa summits highest peak for 30th time
By The Kathmandu Post / ANN
Kami Rita Sherpa poses with his certificates in his room on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal, in January 2021. (PHOTO / AFP)

Trailblazing climber Kami Rita Sherpa reached the top of Mount Qomolangma, also known as Mount Everest, for the 30th time on May 22, breaking his own record for the most summits of the world's highest mountain.

Kami Rita stood atop the summit at 7:49 am, Khim Lal Gautam, the Everest base camp coordinator, told The Kathmandu Post.

This marks his second ascent of the season, after his first on May 12.

READ MORE: Nepal sherpa scales Mount Qomolangma for record 30th time

Kami Rita's mountaineering journey began in 1992 when he joined an expedition to Everest as a porter.

He made his first Everest ascent on May 13, 1994, aged 24.

Since then, he has been climbing Everest almost every year.

Following Kami Rita is another Sherpa — Pasang Dawa — who has 27 summit titles on the world's highest mountain.

But this year, Kami Rita, 54, has no contender.

Dawa Sherpa of Imagine Nepal Trek and Expeditions, where Pasang Dawa works as a senior guide, said the latter would not be climbing Qomolangma at least for this spring.

"Pasang Dawa has informed us that he is tired of climbing Everest and wants to take a rest," said Dawa Sherpa. "He is not in favor of competition on Everest."

Last year, Pasang Dawa, now 47, reached the top of Mount Qomolangma for the 27th time, after his double ascent in a single season. Kami Rita climbed the mountain twice to reclaim his record.

This year, Nepal's Department of Tourism has issued Everest climbing permits to 419 fee-paying individuals. Last year, permits were issued to a record 479 individuals.

With at least one Sherpa guide hired by each climber, there will be nearly 1,000 climbers attempting to scale Everest this year.

Records, titles, deaths and crowds are nowadays synonymous with the highest mountain.

Cases of casualties have been rising on the mountain. Renowned Kenyan climber Cheruiyot Kirui died a few meters below the summit on May 22. His Sherpa guide Nawang Sherpa has gone missing.

British climber Daniel Paul Paterson and his Sherpa guide Pastenji have gone missing in the mountain's "death zone".

They were returning after reaching the summit on May 21. Officials have confirmed the duo were unable to be recovered.

Paterson and Pastenji "heroically reached the summit of mount Everest", Lakpa Sherpa, managing director of 8K Expeditions, the agency managing Paterson's climb, wrote on his Facebook page on May 24.

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"Tragically, during their descent near the Hillary Step at approximately 8,800 meters, they were caught in a sudden cornice fall, which impact the group of climbers.

"Despite exhaustive search efforts, we regret to confirm that Daniel and Pastenji were unable to be recovered from following incident.

"We remember and honor their enduring spirits and extend our deepest condolences to their grieving families."

Binod Babu Bastakoti from Lekhnath in Kaski district, Nepal, died on May 22 near the south Col while descending from the summit.

About 8,800 mountaineers have climbed Mount Qomolangma from the Nepal side since Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and New Zealander Edmund Hillary first set foot atop the world's highest peak in 1953.