MOUNT EVEREST — A Nepali mountaineer has broken his own record by climbing Mount Everest an unprecedented 24 times — completing the last two ascents in the same week.
Kami Rita Sherpa, 49, reached the summit at 6:38 a.m. Tuesday, less than a week after scaling the world’s tallest mountain for the 23rd time on May 15.
Kami, who goes by his first name, was leading a team of Indian police as a senior climbing guide when he broke his previous record, Surendra Thapa, a spokesperson for the Nepal Tourism Department, told CNN.
Speaking to Reuters, Kami said he intended to make the 8,848 meters (29,029 feet) climb yet again. “I am still strong and want to climb Sagarmatha 25 times,” he said, using the mountain’s Nepali name.
Before the climbing guide’s three latest ascents, the record was jointly held by Apa Sherpa and Phurba Tashi Sherpa, both prolific Nepali mountaineers.
Nepal has granted permission to 381 climbers from 44 teams to scale Everest this climbing season, Danduraj Ghimire, director general of the Nepal Tourism Department told CNN, while dozens have already reached the peak.
Concern is mounting over the impact of increasing visitor numbers, with major cleanup efforts underway to remove tonnes of trash from the mountain.
Earlier this year, China capped climber numbers and banned non-climbers on its side of the mountain in order to reduce waste. But Nepal has not followed suit.