KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Veteran Sherpa guide Kami Rita has scaled Mount Everest for the 28th time Tuesday, beating his own record less than a week after setting it, as two guides compete with each other for the title of most climbs of the world’s highest peak.
Kami Rita, considered one of the greatest mountain guides, reached the 8,849-meter (29,032-foot) summit at 9:20 a.m. local time Tuesday, according to expedition organizer Seven Summits Treks.
His latest climb comes a day after fellow Sherpa guide Pasang Dawa matched his record of 27 trips to the summit.
The race for the title began with Pasang Dawa climbing the peak for the 26th time on May 14, equaling Kami Rita’s previous record. Kami Rita went on to the peak three days later for the 27th time.
With a few more days left in the spring climbing season, both Sherpa guides were on the mountain helping their clients up the snowy peak. May is the busiest month to make the dangerous climb since it has the best weather conditions.
Kami Rita first summitted Everest in 1994 and has been making the trip nearly every year since. He is one of many Sherpa guides whose expertise and skills are vital to the safety and success each year of foreign climbers who seek to stand on top of the mountain.
His father was among the first Sherpa guides. In addition to his Everest climbs, Rita has scaled several other peaks that are among the world’s highest, including K2, Cho Oyu, Manaslu and Lhotse.
Hundreds of climbers have scaled Mount Everest, or plan to make their attempt, this month.
The Nepalese authorities have issued about 480 climbing permits to foreign climbers, which is the most issued for any year. At least as many local Sherpa guides would be accompanying them during the climbing season.
So far, 10 people have died during this year’s spring climbing season on Everest.