On May 15, Kami Rita Sherpa led an Indian team to the 29,035-foot summit of Mount Everest. It was his 23rd ascent of the world’s highest mountain—a record—and solidified the 49-year-old’s status as one of the most accomplished high-altitude climbers of all time.
Until last year, Kami Rita shared the record for most Everest ascents with Apa Sherpa and Phurba Tashi Sherpa, with 21 summits each. But both Apa and Phurba Tashi have retired from climbing, so when Kami Rita summited for a 22nd time last spring, he took sole possession of the title.
Kami Rita, who works for Nepal-based Seven Summits Treks as a senior guide, made his first Everest summit on May 13, 1994. He has summited from the Nepal side 22 times and once from the Tibet side. Since 1994, he has made 34 summits on five of the world’s 14 8,000-meter peaks.