The route is ready for the commercial expeditions on the Nepalese south side of Mount Everest. The “Icefall Doctors” have completed their job. The team of eight specialized Sherpas secured the route through the dangerous Khumbu Icefall up to Camp 2 at about 6,400 meters with fixed ropes and ladders. Now the summit aspirants can come. To a certain extent en passant, namely at work, some climbers from Nepal will probably improve their records during this spring season. Kami Rita “Topke” Sherpa will be en route with an expedition of the Nepalese operator Seven Summit Treks and – if everything goes according to plan – will reach the highest point on earth at 8,850 meters for the 23rd time.
“I want to make the Sherpas proud”
Since last year, the 49-year-old mountain guide from the village of Thame in the Everest region has been the sole record holder with 22 ascents. “Guiding foreign climbers up Everest is my job,” says Kami Rita succinctly. “That’s what I do for a living. But it also brings me recognition.” He is looking forward to his next attempt and is also a bit excited. “I am making yet another attempt to create history to make the entire Sherpa community and my country proud,” says Kami Rita.
No. 22 via the Tibetan north side?
In a way hard on his heels is Ngima Nuru Sherpa. The 38-year-old from the village of Teso near Namche Bazar catched up to with the legendary Apa Sherpa and Phurba Tashi by scaling Everest for the 21st time in spring 2018. The 59-year-old Apa Sherpa had finished his climbing career already in 2011. The 48-year-old Phurba Tashi is now only working for Everest expeditions in the base camp – with consideration for his family. Ngima Nuru, as he wrote me, will leave for Tibet on Wednesday next week with a group from the Nepalese operator Arun to climb the highest mountain on earth via the Tibetan north side. Also during his first Everest success – in 2001 as a 20-year-old with an Australian expedition – Ngima had climbed via the Northeast Ridge.
Inspiring single parents
There he could also meet Lhakpa Sherpa, the woman with the most Everest climbs. Already nine times the Nepalese native, who lives with her two daughters – twelve and 17 years old – in the USA, stood on the 8,850-meter-high summit. The 45-year-old will try to lead some clients to the summit. Lhakpa dreams of being able to turn her passion for mountains into profession. She works 40 hours a week in a supermarket in West Hartford, Connecticut. With her Everest ascents she wants to “inspire other single moms and dads,” says Lhakpa Sherpa, adding: “I want my record to be hard to beat.”