On Monday, a Nepali guide set a record for the most ascents of Mount Everest by climbing to the summit for the 27th time.
The competition between Pasang Dawa Sherpa, 46, and well-known Nepali climber Kami Rita Sherpa for the most Everest summits has captured the attention of the climbing community.
Pasang Dawa recently matched Kami Rita’s record by ascending Mount Everest for the 26th time, at a height of 8,849 meters (29,032 ft).
However, “The Everest Man,” 53-year-old Kami Rita, who made his 27th ascent in just two days, retook the lead.
“Pasang Dawa Sherpa reached the summit today with Chinese clients. This was his 27th summit,” his expedition organiser, Imagine Nepal Trek and Expedition, told AFP.
Pasang Dawa reached the top of Everest for the first time in 1998, and since then has nearly every year, sometimes even twice in one climbing season.
However, he might not hold the record for long because Kami Rita is anticipated to summit Everest once again this week.
Eight of the world’s ten tallest peaks are found in Nepal, which also welcomes hundreds of adventurers each spring when the weather is moderate and the frequently dangerous Himalayan winds are usually quiet.
This climbing season, which lasts through early June, 478 international climbers have received permission to ascend Everest from Nepal.
Since most will need a guide, more than 900 people in total will try to summit.
Nepali guides, usually ethnic Sherpas from the valleys around Everest, are considered the backbone of the climbing industry and bear huge risks to carry equipment and food, fix ropes and repairing ladders.
More than 450 climbers have already scaled Everest, according to Nepal’s Department of Tourism.
This season, 10 climbers, including four Nepali guides, have lost their lives on Everest.