Kathmandu: Dubbed as Everest Man with 28 ascends of Mount Everest Kami Rita Sherpa claimed his summits are for the tourism promotion of Nepal.
Greeted and welcomed by dozens at the airport, Kami Rita Sherpa who has the highest number of ascendants of Mount Everest stated his attempts are not meant to hold records but for tourism promotion. “Am not doing this for records, am making attempts to contribute to the tourism of Nepal,” Sherpa told media after arriving at Tribhuwan International Airport.
The 53-year-old Nepali Sherpa has been creating records each season in the past half a decade by ascending the 8,848.86-meter high Mount Everest or Sagarmatha - the tallest peak in the world.
Kami Rita has stood atop Everest twice this season, retaining his title of most climbs of Mount Everest for the 28th time. The veteran climber had registered his 27th ascend on 17th May 2023 while the 28th ascend was registered on 23rd May 2023.
Kami Rita has been working with Seven Summit Treks, Nepal's largest expedition agency, as a senior guide. His last round of ascending comes just a day after Pasang Dawa Sherpa equaled his previous record of 27 ascends.
On May 14, the Pasang Dawa Sherpa reached the summit of the world's highest peak for the 26th time, equalizing Kami Rita's record. After three days, on May 17, Kami Rita regained the title by climbing the mountain for the 27th time.
Pasang Dawa climbed Everest for the 27th time on Monday, again equalizing with Kami Rita. It is not sure whether Pasang Dawa will go up to the summit this season to equalize the record with Kami Rita.
"For the next season, I will continue to climb Everest until and unless my body supports," the quinquagenarian record-holding climber announced his plan to not retire soon.
Kami Rita, a native of Thame village in Solukhumbu, Nepal has been working as Senior Guide at Seven Summit Treks. The company announcing his success had previously called him "dedicated his life to mountaineering and has become synonymous with the world's highest peak."
The 53 old Sherpa climber has been scaling the mountains for over two decades. His mountaineering journey began in 1992 when he joined an expedition to Everest as a support staff member.
Since then, Kami Rita has fearlessly embarked on numerous expeditions, summiting Everest multiple times. His achievements extend beyond Everest, as he has also conquered other formidable peaks, including K2, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, and Manaslu. On Tuesday Kami Rita also led a team of climbers to the top of the world's tallest peak.
Nepal this year has seen a high influx of climbing aspirants as the Department of Tourism has issued permits to 478 fee-paying individuals, the highest permits issuance on record, to climb Everest.
Nepal, earlier in 2021, had issued a record 409 permits which had overcrowded the summit which often is blamed for the high fatalities that year. A year later, the number dropped to 325 taken as an impact of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and recession that is coming forth this year.
Nepal charges 11,000 USD to foreign climbers to take permits for Mount Everest but the expenses range between 40,000 to 90,000 USD to climb the mountain. The cost of an expedition rises further when the weather is not favourable as it normally lasts for only two weeks in a year.
Close to 7,000 mountaineers have climbed Everest from the Nepal side since Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and New Zealander Edmund Percival Hillary first set foot atop the world's highest peak in May 1953.
The Sherpa community of Nepal is mainly dependent on mountaineering and expeditions. They've been assigned to fix the ropes to the summit which officially opens the summit window to the climbing enthusiasts.
For being stronger in high altitudes, Sherpa is well-suited for alpine-style expeditions on the Himalayas. Climbers mainly need them to carry oxygen, gear and safety on the summit path. They are highly recognized as elite mountaineers and experts in high-altitude adventures.