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Super sherpa hangs up his boots

Twenty-one years after his first successful ascent of Mount Everest and 16 days after climbing it for a record 21 times, Ang Sherpa, the 51-year-old Nepali mountaineer popular as Super Sherpa announced his retirement on Friday.

world Updated: May 28, 2011 01:22 IST
Utpal Parashar

Twenty-one years after his first successful ascent of Mount Everest and 16 days after climbing it for a record 21 times, Ang Sherpa, the 51-year-old Nepali mountaineer popular as Super Sherpa announced his retirement on Friday.

The announcement came as a surprise to many as Sherpa had made a similar announcement last year after breaking his own Everest record. But this time he says there would be no change of heart. "I am not getting any younger and climbing Everest is a risky proposition. My family also wants me not to take more risks," he said while making the announcement here.

Apa first climbed Everest in 1990 and has been successfully reaching the top almost every year since. Last year he had said that climbing Everest is getting difficult due to melting ice and rock surfaces.

For the past four years he has led the Eco Everest Expedition to raise awareness about adverse impact of global warming on the Himalayas. The expedition has collected 13,000 kg of waste from Everest.

"It is time for the younger generation of climbers from Nepal to continue the task that we have started. I would have no qualms if someone breaks my record," said Apa.

Apa now stays in the US with his family where his three children are pursuing their studies. He started the Apa Sherpa Foundation in 2009 to help educate villagers in remote Himalayas.