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Nepali mountaineer claims record 25th Everest ascent

KATHMANDU: Breaking his own record for the most summits of the highest mountain in the world, Nepali mountaineer Kami Rita Sherpa has reached the summit of Mount Everest for the 25th time on Friday.

Mingma Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks, an expedition organisers said, “Kami Rita has made a new record with his 25th summit.”

The Nepali mountaineer was part of a 12-member team fixing the ropes to the summit, the first of hundreds of climbers expected to reach the top of Everest in coming weeks.

A guide for more than two decades, Sherpa first summited the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) peak in 1994 when working for a commercial expedition. Since then, he has climbed Everest almost every year.

Sherpa at the base camp before heading up told AFP, “It isn’t about breaking records… My plan was to celebrate my silver jubilee by climbing 25 times in 2020 at the age of 50; however, COVID-19 didn’t let that happen. So now I will make my dream come true,” he added.

In 2019, he ascended Everest twice, breaking and making records each time. But this time Sherpa climbed a slightly higher Everest after Nepal and China revised its height to 8,848.86 metres (29,031 feet) last year– 86 centimetres (2.8 feet) higher than the measurement previously recognised by Nepal.

Sherpa plans for a double summit this year too and will guide up a royal Bahrain team to the summit. The accomplished climber has also conquered other challenging 8,000-metre peaks including the world’s second-highest mountain, K2 in Pakistan.

On January 16 this year, a team of Nepalese climbers had broken the previous record during winters of climbing as high as 26,000 feet while attempting to scale K2, according to a trekking company leading one of the expeditions.

According to the Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP), the maximum height achieved by teams in winters in the past was 25,320 feet. Dozens of mountaineers have been competing over the past few weeks to summit the world’s second-highest mountain, the last peak above 8,000 metres to be topped in wintertime.

“WE DID IT,” tweeted Seven Summit Treks. “The Karakorum’s ‘Savage Mountain’ been summited in most dangerous season: winter. Nepalese climbers finally reached the summit of Mt K2 this afternoon at 17:00 local time,” it added.