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Nepali Sherpa breaks own world record to scale Mount Everest for 26th time

Nepali Mountaineer Kami Rita Sherpa

Nepali sherpa Kami Rita has scaled Mount Everest for a record 26th time, breaking his own previous world record set last year.

He reached the 8,849-metre summit on Saturday evening, leading a group of 10 Sherpa climbers who fixed ropes along the route so that hundreds of other climbers and guides can make their way to the top of the mountain later this month.

“Kami Rita has broken his own record and established a new world record in climbing,” Taranath Adhikari, director general of the Department of Tourism in the capital of Kathmandu, said on Sunday.

The climbing route used by 52-year-old Kami Rita was first opened by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepali sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953 and remains the most popular.

Rita, 52, first scaled Everest in 1994 and has been making the trip nearly every year since then. He is one of many Sherpa guides whose expertise and skills play a key role in the safety and success of foreign climbers who arrive in Nepal every year for expeditions to scale the world’s highest peak.

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Rita is a second-generation climber as his father was among the first Sherpa guides who taught him the skills of mountaineering.

This year Nepal has issued 316 permits to climb Everest in the peak season, which runs through May, considered the best weather for mountaineering expeditions.

Meanwhile, on Sunday Nepali officials said Russian climber Pavel Kostrikin died at Camp I of Mount Everest.

“The Russian climber fell sick at Camp II and died after being brought to the Camp I,” Bhishma Kumar Bhattarai, an official of Nepal’s Department of Tourism, said.

Camp II on the normal southeast ridge route on Everest is located at a height of around 6,400 metres (20,997 feet).