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Sherpa becomes 2nd person to scale Everest 26 times

May 14, 2023

A Nepali Sherpa guide has climbed Mount Everest for the 26th time, becoming only the second person in the world to accomplish the feat. However, the record is expected to be broken soon.

Pasang Dawa Sherpa, a 26-time Everest climber
Pasang Dawa Sherpa is the world's second person to scale Everest 26 timesImage: Aryan Dhimal/Zuma/picture alliance

Pasang Dawa Sherpa, also known as Pa Dawa, scaled Mount Everest on Sunday for the 26th time, matching the record set by a fellow Nepalese guide for the most ascents of the world's highest peak.

The 46-year-old reached Everest's summit with a Hungarian climber, an official said.  

As per the Himalayan Database, which keeps track of mountaineering records in Nepal's Himalayas, Pa Dawa had climbed the peak 25 times before, including twice in 2022. Since making his first successful of climb of the peak in 1998, Dawa has made the trip almost every year.

The only other person to have climbed the 8,849-meter (29,032-foot) mountain 26 times is fellow mountain guide Kami Rita Sherpa.

Race for the record

Kami Rita is currently leading a US team up the mountain and aims to break his own record by climbing Everest for a 27th time. That means Pasang Dawa's record could be broken in the next few days.

It is unclear whether he will make another attempt this year. Nepal is home to eight of the world's 14 highest peaks, all above 8,000 meters.

Sherpas, who mostly use their first names, are known for their climbing skills and make a living mainly by guiding foreign clients in the mountains.

This year's climbing was slightly delayed after three Sherpa climbers fell into a deep crevasse on a treacherous section of the mountain in April. Rescuers have not been able to find them.

Why are so many people dying on Everest?

Anniversary of the first ascent of Everest

Climbers generally reach the base camp of the mountain in April and spend weeks acclimatizing to the high altitude, rough terrain and thin air before they go up the mountain's slopes.

The season's first wave of climbers reached the summit this weekend as Sherpa guides fixed ropes and made paths for the hundreds of climbers who will attempt to scale the peak over the next few weeks.

A record 467 climbers — excluding the local sherpas — have obtained permits to climb the world's highest peak from the southern side in Nepal, according to Nepal's Department of Tourism.

This year also marks the 70th anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Everest in 1953 by New Zealander Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay.

dh/nm (AP, dpa, Reuters)