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Nepali climber ties record after 27th Mount Everest ascent

May 22, 2023

Two Sherpa guides have been vying for the record of most summits. Meanwhile, a former Gurkha soldier has become the first above-knee double amputee to climb the world's tallest mountain.

Pasang Dawa Sherpa holding two saplings in 2022
Pasang Dawa Sherpa became the second person to have climbed Mount Everest 27 timesImage: Aryan Dhimal/ZUMA/picture alliance

A Nepali climber became the second person to reach the summit of Mount Everest for a 27th time on Monday, as the race heats up to hold the record for the most ascents of the world's tallest mountain.

Pasang Dawa Sherpa, 46, became the second person to achieve the record less than a week after 53-year-old climber Kami Rita Sherpa also reached the summit for the 27th time.

"Pasang Dawa Sherpa reached the summit today with Chinese clients. This was his 27th summit," his expedition organizer, Imagine Nepal Trek and Expedition, told the AFP news agency.

Pasang Dawa first reached the summit in 1998 and has climbed the mountain almost every year since, including twice during some climbing seasons.

His rival Kami Rita — known as "the Everest man" — is expected to attempt a 28th climb later this week which would once again give him sole ownership of the record.

Double amputee climber makes history

Amid the backdrop of the world record rivalry, ex-Gurkha veteran Hari Budha Magar also made history as the first above-knee double amputee to climb Mount Everest on Friday.

"I hope my climb will help change the perception of persons with disabilities," Magar told the Reuters news agency from Everest Base Camp.

"I would like to encourage all people to take to climbing any mountain of their choice," he added.

Hari Budha Magar seated on a chair
Hari Budha Magar lost both his legs while serving in Afghanistan in 2010Image: PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images

Magar uses two prosthetic legs after an IED attack while serving in Afghanistan with the British army in 2010.

He had already climbed several major peaks including Ben Nevis in Scotland, Mount Toubkal in Morocco, and Mont Blanc in the European Alps.

However, he had been unable to climb Mount Everest for several years due to a Nepalese law that prevented double amputees from mountaineering.

zc/nm (AFP, dpa)