Lapka Sherpa/AFP via Getty Images
Nepalese climber Kami Rita Sherpa made history on Saturday as she climbed Mount Everest for the 26th time. Sherpa was already a world record holder, having broken the record for climbing Everest five times in four years.
On Saturday, the 52-year-old mountain guide broke the previous world record of 25 ascents of the world’s highest mountain, which he set last May.
Kami Rita has set and broken the world record for climbing Everest nearly every spring for the past four years.
With over 35 years of mountaineering experience, Kami Rita is a world-renowned climber. He set the Everest summit record for the first time on May 22, 2018, after he shared the record of 21 summits with two other climbers.
He broke that the following year when he conquered Everest for the 23rd time on May 15, 2019, according to Guinness World Records. Kami Rita broke her own record six days later with her 24th summit.
It’s possible that Kami Rita could have achieved an even higher summit count by now if it weren’t for the COVID-19 pandemic. Nepal and China canceled the 2020 climbing season. When Everest reopened the following year, Kami Rita broke her record yet again with her 25th successful summit.
Kami Rita didn’t make it to the top on her first attempt in 1992, he told Guinness. He, however, finished the climb two years later.
Kami Rita’s life has been linked to the mountain since she was a child. Her father, Mingma Tshering Sherpa, was one of the first professional guides on Everest when Nepal started allowing international climbers in 1950. And Kami Rita had been working as a porter transporting equipment to Everest base camp since she was 12 years old.
Mount Everest is part of the Himalayas in the Tibetan Plateau of Central Asia, nicknamed the “Roof of the World”. Everest rises to about 29,032 feet above sea level, although that number could change.
The first recorded people to conquer the mountain were New Zealand mountaineer Edmund Hillary and his Nepalese partner Tenzing Norgay in 1953. Several thousand have climbed Everest in the nearly 70 years since. The mountain also claimed the lives of over 300 adventurers.
On the same day that Kami Rita broke her record, Russian climber Pavel Kostrikin died at Camp I on Saturday night. The Kathmandu Post reported, marking the second death of the season.