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It’s been an uphill battle, but veteran sherpa sets new record for Everest ascents

Sherpas Lhakpa and Everest record holder Kami Rita (right) pose in front of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary statues, the mountain's original conquerors. Photo: Getty
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A Nepalese Sherpa guide has scaled Mount Everest for the 26th time, breaking his own record for the most climbs of the world’s highest peak.

Kami Rita reached the 8849-metre summit on Saturday evening while leading a group of Sherpa climbers who fixed ropes along the route so hundreds of other climbers and guides can make their way to the top of the mountain later this month.

Rita and 10 other Sherpa guides reached the summit without any problems and returned safely to lower camps, Mingma Sherpa of the Kathmandu-based Seven Summit Treks said.

The group reached the summit around 7pm local time on Saturday, which by Everest climbing standards is late.

At night, there is a greater risk of weather conditions deteriorating and climbers losing their way on the way down.

There are hundreds of foreign climbers and an equal number of Sherpa guides who will attempt to climb Everest this month.

May is traditionally the best month to scale the world’s highest peak since it has the best weather conditions.

There are generally only a couple of windows for good weather on the highest section of the mountain in May that enable climbers to reach the summit.

Rita, 52, first scaled Everest in 1994 and has been making the trip nearly every year since then.

He is one of many Sherpa guides whose expertise and skills are vital to the safety and success of the foreign climbers who head to Nepal each year seeking to stand on top of the mountain.

His father was among the first Sherpa guides, and Rita followed in his footsteps and then some.

In addition to his 26 times to the top of Everest, Rita has scaled several of the world’s other highest peaks, including K-2, Cho-Oyu, Manaslu and Lhotse.

-AAP