Climate change, crowding imperil route to top of Mount Everest
17 May, 2018, 06:54 | Author: Mable Gonzales
Nepal's Kami Rita Sherpa on Wednesday scaled the world's highest peak Qomolangma for the 22nd time with a record of highest number of summits, government officials confirmed.
The 48-year-old reached the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) summit via the Southeast Ridge route, accompanied by 13 other climbers including his clients, Tourism Department official Gyanendra Shrestha said from the base camp.
Lhakpa, who climbed from the Tibetan side of the mountain, was accompanied by a guide during the ascent, said Rajiv Shrestha of the Seven Summit Club that organized her expedition.
A boom in climbers has made mountaineering a lucrative business since Sir Edmund Hillary and sherpa Tenzing Norgay made the first ascent in 1953. "But I am not overexcited as it is a part of my professional job", Sherpa had said before leaving Kathmandu for the expedition.
"The icefall is obviously a unsafe place to be, especially later on in the season and with increased temperatures experienced in the Himalayas due to climate change", Phil Crampton of the climbing company Altitude Junkies told the Everest blogger Alan Arnette earlier this year. She now lives in the U.S. and works at a departmental store.
Meanwhile, a 69-year-old double amputee climber from China flew on a helicopter from Everest to Kathmandu on Wednesday, two days after climbing the mountain. He first climbed Mt. Everest in 1994.
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The daughter of a yak herder, Ms Lhakpa worked as a porter and kitchen hand on trekking and mountaineering expeditions, before becoming a climber herself.
Kami Rita apparently hopes to reach 25 times before retiring.
More than 60 mountaineers including Sherpa have successfully climbed the Everest since the beginning of the climbing season in 2018.
"He has set the world record", said Mingma Sherpa, chairman of the Seven Summit Treks company that employs Kami.
No incidents or deaths have been reported so far during this year's climbing season.
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