Bill Chappell writing for NPR:
A Nepalese mountain climber has now climbed Mount Everest a record 24 times — and he’s hoping to do it one more time before he retires. Kami Rita Sherpa, 49, has been climbing Everest since 1994.
“It’s also the second time in a week that he’s made the arduous trek,” NPR’s Sushmita Pathak reports from Mumbai. “The 49-year-old Sherpa guide had already broken his own record on May 15, when he scaled the summit for the 23rd time.”
Rita started his most recent climb just three days after his 23rd summit of Everest. Early Tuesday morning, he stepped on the tallest peak in an area known as the roof of the world, leading a team of Indian police officers on the climb, according to The Kathmandu Post.
“The true beauty of Nepal is not the mountains, but the people who live in their shadow.” ~ Apa
Every spring the summit of Mount Everest draws people from around the world. But in its shadow live the Sherpa, a resilient, religious people, who, despite the riches surrounding the highest peak on earth, are still quite poor and uneducated.
A child of the Khumbu, Apa Sherpa climbed Everest 21 times. Pulled away at the age of 12 to work as a high altitude porter, like so many others, he would leave his family for months, risking his life on the mountain. Through his work at the Apa Sherpa Foundation, he aims to create a different future for his people.
As Apa says, “without education we have no choice.”
Visit the Apa Sherpa Foundation to learn more.