More mountaineering records for this spring

CK Khanal

This spring season has been special for climbers to set new records on Mt. Everest, the highest peak of the world. 

In a period of one week, Kami Rita Sherpa (49) successfully accented Mt. Everest for two times. With these two ascents, Sherpa has been able to create yet another new record of scaling the 8,848-metre peak for 24th time.
Kami Rita scaled Mt. Everest for 23rd time on May 15 breaking his own previous record of highest number of ascents. Later, he scaled Everest second time of the season on May 21 to make his 24th summit record. everest
Born in 1970 in Thame village of Solukhumbu district, Kami Rita had equalised his record of 21 times Everest ascent set by Apa Sherpa and Phurba Tashi Sherpa in 2017. Later, on May 16 in 2018, Kami Rita successfully reached atop Everest for the record 22nd time leaving behind Apa and Phurba Tashi.
Both Apa and Phurba Tashi have announced retirement from the expedition.
Similarly, HIV-infected Gopal Shrestha (54) from Pokhara also reached atop Mt. Everest on May 22. He has become the first HIV-infected person to reach the summit.
Sherestha said that his ascent was to spread awareness about HIV/Aids and drug abuse. According to information provided by Shrestha, he was infected by HIV some 23 years ago through syringe injection.
Shrestha had also made attempt to climb Everest in 2015 but had to abandon his bid due to the devastating earthquake that struck the country on April 25.
Likewise, two widows of Sherpa climbers, who died on Mt. Everest, also scaled the Mt. Everest this season.
Furdiki Sherpa and Nima Doma Sherpa reached atop Mt. Everest on May 23. They have become a source of inspiration for other single women as well.
Furdiki (42), lost her husband in 2013 while he was fixing rope along the climbing route of Everest while the husband of Nima Doma (36) died after falling down from the deadly avalanche that swept 15 Sherpa guides in the Khumbu Region in 2014.
Meanwhile, accenting Mt. Everest successfully on May 25, Nisha Bhote, has been the first women Everest summiteer from the Bhote community of Nepal. Twenty-two-year-old Nisha is from Hatiya Rural Municipality of Sankhuwasabha district.
According to agencies, an African woman Saray N’ Kusi Khumalo also accented Mt. Everest this season as the first black African woman reaching atop the highest peak of the world.
However, the Department of Tourism (DoT) said that it could not officially approve the records said to be held on Everest.
Meera Acharya, director at the DoT, said that they have not any information regarding the records on Everest.
According to Acharya around 600 climbers have reached Everest summit this season.
This year, climbing Everest and other three mountains above 8,000 metres started from May 14. No Everest ascents were recorded on May 17, 18 and 19 due to bad weather in the mountain region.
According to liaison officer of the government and expedition agencies, around 16 human casualties have been reported, Acharya said. Of them eight casualties-- seven deaths and one missing-- have been reported in Everest alone, she added.
Issuing a press statement, the DoT has clarified that the death in Everest was not solely due to the traffic congestion along the route to Mt. Everest seen mainly on May 22 and 23.
A total of 381 climbers belonging to 44 expeditions teams had received permit from the DoT to climb Mt. Everest this spring. Of them, 14 are Nepalis.
In spring of 2018, a total of 346 mountaineers from 38 expeditions were granted permission to scale the highest peak. Spring is the main season for climbers to attempt Mt. Everest and other peaks in the country.
Altogether, a total of 895 climbers belonging to 116 expeditions had received permit to climb 32 different peaks, including Mt. Everest, this spring.

(Khanal is a TRN journalist)

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