Kami Rita has extended his own record by successfully ascending the world's tallest mountain for the 24th time. The Nepalese Sherpa guide says he wants to climb the Everest one more time before retiring.
Nepalese Sherpa Kami Rita on Tuesday reached the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak of Mount Everest for the 24th time, breaking his own record for successful climbs.
This was his second time on the summit in a week. He climbed to the top on May 15 then returned to base camp before returning once more.
Taking advantage of favorable weather, Rita reached the summit guiding a group of Indian climbers, said Nepal Department of Tourism official Mira Acharya.
Tuesday's climb brings the 49-year-old closer to his target of 25 ascents of Everest before he retires from high mountain climbing. His closest rivals, Apa Sherpa and Phurba Tashi Sherpa, scaled Everest 21 times each before retiring from mountain climbing.
Rita grew up in a village in the shadow of Everest. He first scaled the mountain in 1994 and has been making the trip nearly every year since. In addition to his nearly two dozen summits of Everest, Rita has scaled some of the other highest mountains, K-2, Cho-Oyu, Manaslu and Lhotse.
Sherpas are an ethnic group from the most mountainous region of Nepal, the Himalayas. The tribespeople were mostly yak herders and traders living deep within the Himalayas until Nepal opened its borders in the 1950s. Their stamina and familiarity with the mountains quickly made them sought-after guides and porters.
sri/rt (AP, dpa)