KATHMANDU – Nepal’s Kami Rita Sherpa scaled on Wednesday Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, for a record 22nd time, one day ahead of schedule.
Kami Rita, 48, reached the world’s highest peak at 8,848 meters (29,028 feet) at 8:30 am, a representative of Nepal’s tourism ministry at the Everest base camp, Gyanendra Shrestha, told EFE.
“He was scheduled to climb the Everest on Thursday. He achieved the feat on Wednesday, surprising all his mountaineering colleagues and officials,” Shrestha said.
Seven Summit Treks, which was in charge of Kami Rita’s expedition, also celebrated the record by the Nepali mountaineer on its Facebook page.
With his latest climb, Kami Rita has bested two other sherpas, Apa Sherpa and Phurba Tashi Sherpa, who had scaled the Everest 21 times, and who have already announced their retirement.
Kami Rita, a member of the Sherpas ethnic group, comes from a humble background and was unable to attend school as he had to start working in the mountaineering industry from an early age.
The climber began his professional career in 1992 and, two years later, completed his maiden ascent of Mt. Everest, a peak that he climbed again twice per season in 2008, 2011 and 2013, until his last successful ascent on May 27, 2017, including one ascent from the Chinese side of the mountain.
“I will continue to climb Everest even if I set the record this year,” the climber had told EFE in March, adding that he hoped to “make history” by completing 25 ascents.
Mountaineers pay between $50,000-$90,000 to climb Everest and an experienced climber can earn $12,000 during the 45-day Everest climbing season.
This year, the season began on Sunday, when eight experienced Nepali guides arrived at the mountain’s peak to prepare it for other climbers.