May 24, 2019
Latest News

Everest climber Kami Rita returns to break his own world record

By Sangam Prasai.

Kathmandu, Apr 19 (efe-epa).- Nepal's Kami Rita Sherpa is embarking on a mission to break his own world record for the most summits of the highest mountain on the planet, Mount Everest.

“Records are made to be broken,” Kami Rita said before heading to the Everest region on Tuesday to start the dangerous and grueling journey up its peak for the 23rd time.

At 8,848m, Mt Everest usually has a three-week climbing window in May and many hopefuls have already reached base camp to acclimatize on the mountain's slopes. Base camp is now a temporary home to more than 1,500 people from around the world.

The 49-year-old Sherpa returned to Nepal on Mar. 20 after climbing Mount Elbrus (5,642m) in Southern Russia, the highest mountain in Europe. He then flew to the Everest region and climbed Island Peak (6,189m) on Mar. 24 before returning to Kathmandu.

“My next mission is to conquer Everest,” he told EFE in an interview.

Kami Rita, who grew up in the shadow of Everest in a poor family, made headlines around the world on May 16 last year for achieving the record feat of 22 summits.

“Obviously, I am counting the numbers. I have a goal to climb Everest for 25th time or maybe more than that,” he said.

Born in Thame, a remote mountainous region in the northeastern Nepal, Kami Rita became a porter when he was 12 years old. For two years he transported the gear of foreign trekkers and mountaineers up to Everest base camp on the backs of yaks.

He grew up hearing stories about how famed the country’s Sherpas were and decided to become a guide like Tenzing Norgay, a famous mountaineer in his community. In 1953, Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary were the first people to reach the summit of Mt Everest.

Kami Rita’s fortunes changed in 1992 when his elder brother Lakpa Rita gave him the opportunity to climb mountains up to 8,000m high.

“At that time, without climbing peaks above 8,000m two to three times, climbing Everest was not permitted,” Kami Rita recalled.

In 1994, at the age of 24, he scaled Everest for the first time.

“The first time was difficult. But, soon it started becoming easier,” he said. “At that time, climbing Everest would ensure jobs to any Sherpas.”

There were limited experienced climbing guides and the expedition companies used to go to Sherpas’ doors to offer them climbing jobs with big pay, he said. “But things have changed now. Climbing has become commercial,” he added.

The industry now has more than 500 climbing guides.

“The trend has reversed. Climbing guides knock on expedition operators’ doors to get jobs,” he said.

A climbing permit for Mt Everest costs $11,000 for foreigners, and climbers spend between $40,000 and $90,000 to climb the mountain.

An experienced guide makes as much as $12,000 during the Everest-climbing season. A normal or beginner guide earns $7,000 per season, while high-altitude porters earn up to $4,000 per season.

In the past, an experienced climber would earn $2,000 but have to spend $500 to buy climbing gear and equipment.

Other things have also changed over the last two decades. Modern climbing gear and weather technology has made climbing easier, Kami Rita said. But one thing has remained the same: “the fear of climbing,” he said.

“There is always pressure for Sherpas from their family to quit the job. Because the chance of survival is 50-50. We have to plan carefully because death is virtually certain when you make mistake, even if you are an experienced climber,” he told EFE.

An ice avalanche hit Mt Everest on Apr. 18, 2014, killing 16 Sherpas. Kami Rita lost five of his team members.

A year later on Apr. 25, 2015, a massive earthquake struck Nepal, killing around 9,000 people. The quake triggered an avalanche that killed at least 19 at Everest base camp.

“Each and every moment on Everest is risky. But it’s my job and I have to do it,” he said.

However, Kami Rita doesn’t want to pass the burden of risk to his children and said that times are different now compared to when he was young with few options.

“We were illiterate and poor and there were no other means of survival [back then]. As a result, we were compelled to climb dangerous mountains to eke out a living,” he said.

Now, Nepal’s Sherpas are in demand around the world, with many earning good incomes and their children studying abroad. Kami Rita said that in about a decade from now, there may not be many Sherpa guides left to climb the world’s highest and most famous peak.

sp/tw

News history
Kenya's High Court upholds law criminalizing same-sex relations

Nairobi, May 24 (efe-epa).- Kenya's High Court on Friday declined to decriminalize same-sex relations, which can carry a prison sentence of up to 14 years,...

Global climate change school strikes hit record number

Stockholm, May 24 (efe-epa).- Thousands of schoolchildren around the world walked out of their classrooms on Friday in what organizers say were the biggest...

Senior cleric among three killed in Kabul mosque explosion

Kabul, May 24 (efe-epa).- A bomb blast inside a mosque in the Afghan capital on Friday killed three people, including a prominent religious scholar who was...

Ethnic minorities represented for 1st time in Thai parliament with Hmong MP

By Carlos Sardiña Galache

Filipino natives forced out of their ancestral lands by Chinese capital

By Sara Gómez Armas

Taiwan holds Asia's first same-sex marriages

Taipei, May 24 (efe-epa).- Around 20 same-sex couples on Friday registered their marriage officially at the Household Registration Office in Taipei, the...

US hospital ship to assist 11 countries in response to Venezuelan crisis

Miami, USA, May 23 (efe-epa).- A United States Navy hospital ship will provide medical assistance to 11 Latin American and Caribbean countries in response...

Voice of female Mesaharati calls out in Cairo each dawn of Ramadan

By Carles Grau Sivera

Botswana lifts elephant hunting ban

Johannesburg, May 23 (efe-epa).- Botswana, the country with the largest population of elephants in the world, has lifted a ban on hunting these animals...

Thousands of Jews celebrate Lag BaOmer festival with music, bonfires

Mount Meron, Israel, May 22 (efe-epa).- With songs, dances and bonfires nearly half a million Jews on Wednesday marked the celebration of Lag BaOmer on...

Massive seaweed influx in Cancun's hotel zone

Cancun, Mexico, May 22 (efe-epa).- The hotel zone along the beaches in the Mexican resort city of Cancun on Wednesday experienced a massive influx of...

Geneva, May 22 (efe-epa).- Venezuela's health minister said here Wednesday that economic sanctions imposed by Washington are to blame for shortages of...

Remains of Jewish Holocaust victims reburied in Belarus

Brest (Belarus), May 22 (efe-epa).- Human remains believed to have belonged to 1,214 Jewish victims of the Holocaust were reburied in a cemetery in...

WHO to reduce snakebite mortality rate, health crisis, by half with new plan

By Clea House

Afghan amputee boy dreams a better future by becoming a doctor

Baber Khan Sahel

Lack of diverse global diet takes toll on biodiversity

By Belén Delgado

Internal review reveals sexual assault cases in New Zealand parliament

Sydney, Australia, May 22 (efe-epa).- The New Zealand parliament on Wednesday admitted that at least three cases of serious sexual assault had taken place...

Hundreds protest against anti-abortion laws at US Supreme Court

Washington, May 21 (efe-epa).- Hundreds of people gathered Tuesday in front of the US Supreme Court to protest against the laws passed this year banning...

Plastic waste being made into ecologically friendly houses in western Mexico

By Mariana Gonzalez

Mexican scientist works to find mysterious fish using DNA

By Zoilo Carrillo

Brazil's Candomble religion battles rising intolerance

By Maria Angalica Troncoso

Dr. AI comes to aid of China’s ailing healthcare

By Paula Escalada Medrano

Abortion remains a stigma for South Korean women despite decriminalization

By Andres Sanchez Braun

Australian voters turned their backs on the threat of climate change

By Rocío Otoya

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.