Climber sets new Mount Everest record

File photo

A Nepali guide has broken his own record for most climbs of Mount Everest the world's highest mountain, having reached the summit for the 29th time.

Nepali guide Kami Rita Sherpa, 54, climbed the 8,849-metre (29,032 foot) peak for the 29th time as confirmed by Rakesh Gurung, director of Nepal's Department of Tourism. 

Gurung also confirmed Britain's Kenton Cool, 50, had reached the summit for the 18th time.

They were on separate expeditions guiding their clients.

"He just keeps going and going... amazing guy!" Garrett Madison of the US-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 AED 40,000 ($11,000) to climbers for the climbing season that ends in May.

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