A Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Kami Rita has broken his own record by climbing Mount Everest an unprecedented 24 times.
This is his second ascent in just a week, breaking his own record for reaching the top, and he has set his sights on one more climb before he retires.
Nepalese tourism department official, Mira Acharya, told reporters on Wednesday that the 49-year old Rita climbed the 8,850 meters (29,035 feet) summit by the traditional southeast ridge route.
The southeast route was pioneered by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953 and remains the most popular trail leading to the highest point on Earth.
Acharya said Rita wants to make the climb at least once more.
“I am still strong and want to climb Sagarmatha 25 times,” Kami told Reuters, referring to the Nepali name for Everest just before leaving for his 23rd climb.
The record-breaking Sherpa first scaled Everest in 1994 and has climbed it nearly every year since. He is one of the many guides who keep safe the approximately 1,000 people who attempt to climb the famous peak each year.
A recorded 5,000 people have reached its peak.
Rita’s father was among the first Sherpa guides to helping foreign climbers to summit other Himalayan peaks such as K-2, Chi-Oyu, Manaslu, and Lhotse.
A 2017 study by the University of Cambridge found that Sherpas from the region have a paricular physiology and a genetic mutation that allows their blood to circulate more easily, compared to those not from the mountainous area.
Sherpas have a thinner blood than foreigners visiting the region to make the Everest ascent, sa.
They also have less hemoglobin and a reduced ability to retain oxygen, which allow their blood to ciruculate faster and more easily, putting less stress on the heart.
“This shows that the important thing is not how much oxygen you have, but what you do with it,” lead investigator on the study told the BBC in 2017.
Sherpas arrived in Nepal some 500 years ago from Tibet, say scientists.
Mountaineering is one of Nepal’s main income sources and is home to eight of the world’s highest 14 mountains.