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UK mountaineer logs most Everest climbs by a foreigner, Nepali makes 29th ascent

British climber and a Nepali guide have broken their own records for most climbs of Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, hiking officials said on Sunday.

Rakesh Gurung, director of Nepal’s Department of Tourism, said Britain’s Kenton Cool, 50, and Nepali guide Kami Rita Sherpa, 54, climbed the 8,849-metre (29,032 foot) peak for the 18th and 29th time, respectively.

They were on separate expeditions guiding their clients.

“He just keeps going and going… amazing guy!” Garrett Madison of the U.S.-based expedition organising company Madison Mountaineering said of the Nepali climber. Madison had teamed up with Kami Rita to climb the summits of Everest, Lhotse, and K2 in 2014.

K2, located in Pakistan, is the world’s second-highest mountain and Lhotse in Nepal is the fourth-tallest.

Lukas Furtenbach of the Austrian expedition operator Furtenbach Adventures called Cool’s feat remarkable.

“He is a fundamental part of the Everest guiding industry. Kenton Cool is an institution,” Furtenbach, who is leading an expedition from the Chinese side of Everest, told Reuters.

Both climbers used the Southeast Ridge route to the summit.

Pioneered by the first summiteers, New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953, the route remains the most popular path to the Everest summit.

Kami Rita first climbed Everest in 1994 and has done so almost every year since, except for three years when authorities closed the mountain for various reasons.

He climbed the mountain twice last year.

Mountain climbing is a major tourism activity and a source of income as well as employment for Nepal, home to eight of the world’s 14 tallest peaks, including Everest.

Nepal has issued 414 permits, each costing $11,000 to climbers for the climbing season that ends this month.

(Reuters)

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Last Updated: 19th May 2024