After scaling Mt Everest 22 times, Kami Rita finds each feat as new as the first climb

The 48-year-old Sherpa, a passionate climber devoted to mountains and mountaineering, looks forward to mount the Himalayan mountain 30 times before he hangs his boots at 55.

pune Updated: Jul 17, 2018 17:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Himalayas,Mount Everest,Sherpa
Kami Rita Sherpa (left) and Mingma Sherpa at a press meet of Giripremi in Pune on Monday.(RAVINDRA JOSHI/HT PHOTO)

For Kami Rita Sherpa, the 48-year-old Sherpa who has climbed Mount Everest 22 times, every Himalayan expedition comes with a different set of challenges. “Even though you have scaled the peak several times, the risk involved in the next mission is almost like the first one,” said Rita on Monday.

Rita, along with veteran mountaineer and entrepreneur Mingma Sherpa and Wing Commander Devidutta Panda, vice-principal, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (Darjeeling), was in Pune for Giripremi’s ‘Kanchenjunga Eco Expedition 2019’s special programme to be held on Tuesday.

Mingma is first south Asian and Nepalese to summit all 14 eight-thousanders (8000er) peaks in the world and also the working chairman of leading Sherpa agency in Nepal-Seven Summit Treks.

After six successful expeditions on six of the 14 8000er peaks in the world, Giripremi has planned India’s largest civilian expedition on India’s highest mountain — Mount Kanchenjunga. The expedition will take place in April-May 2019.

Kami, who started his career as a porter, become the first person with most Everest summits. (HT PHOTO)

Kami, who started his career as a porter, become the first person with most Everest summits. He first scaled Mount Everest in 1994. From 2002 to 2010, Kami scaled Everest nine times consecutively. He has worked in rope fixing team and high-altitude worker on South Col SE Ridge (between Mount Everest and Lhotse) at 8000 metres altitude. Kami has decided to work as Sherpa climber till age of 55, so he has six seasons more and might end up scaling Mount Everest 30 times. However, he doesn’t care about records. He is a passionate climber devoted to mountains and mountaineering.

“I have never climbed for records. We Sherpa community have advantage in climbing as we are born and brought up on mountains. I started working as a porter for living. Surprisingly, I had failed to scale Mt Everest on my first two attempts. But I kept trying,” said Kami.

“It’s a different challenge to take someone with you on the peak. I give priority to my team’s safety than being a successful climber. Even though, I have climbed Mt Everest 22 times, every expedition was equally challenging and risky,” he said.

Meet the Sherpas

Giripremi will felicitate Kami Rita Sherpa, Wing Commander Devidutta Panda and Mingma Sherpa at Dr Kalmadi Shamrao High School auditorium, Erandwane on July 17. Pune’s mayor will be present at the function. The event will take place at 6.30pm and it’s open for all. The adventure enthusiasts will get a chance to interact with the Sherpas.

First Published: Jul 17, 2018 17:01 IST