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Sherpa guide Kami Rita scales Mount Everest for 29th time, extending his own record again

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — One of greatest climbing guides on Mount Everest has scaled the world’s highest peak for the 29th time, extending his own record for most times to the summit, expedition organizers said Sunday.

Kami Rita reached the 8,849-meter (29,032-foot) peak at 7:25 a.m. local time Sunday along with other climbers, said Mingma Sherpa of the expedition organizer Seven Summits Treks. He was reported in good health and already on the way down to lower camps.

Kami Rita had climbed Mount Everest twice last year, setting the record for most climbs on the first and adding to it less than a week later.

He and fellow Sherpa guide Pasang Dawa have been competing with each other for the title of most climbs of the world’s highest peak. Pasang Dawa has 27 successful ascents of the mountain.

Kami Rita first climbed Everest in 1994 and has been making the trip nearly every year since. He is one of many Sherpa guides whose expertise and skills are vital to the safety and success each year of foreign climbers who seek to stand on top of the mountain.

His father was among the first Sherpa guides. In addition to his Everest climbs, Kami Rita has scaled several other peaks that are among the world’s highest, including K2, Cho Oyu, Manaslu and Lhotse.

Mingma Sherpa said the weather on the mountain was good and favorable for climbing to the summit.

The first set of climbers reached Everest’s summit just a few days ago and there are hundreds more who will be attempting to get up the mountain this month.

Nepalese authorities have issued hundreds of climbing permits to foreign climbers, At least as many local Sherpa guides will be accompanying them during the climbing season.