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Sherpa Kami summits Everest for record 25th time

AP, May 11, 2021 7:00PM AP

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This 2019 image shows Sherpa Kami Rita posing at the top of Mount Everest after summiting it for the 23rd time – he has since ascended to the summit twice more. Climbing Everest is a bucket-list feat of endurance, danger and wonder. But for Kami Rita it is just another day at work. Picture: AFP Photo/Seven Summit Treks. media_cameraThis 2019 image shows Sherpa Kami Rita posing at the top of Mount Everest after summiting it for the 23rd time – he has since ascended to the summit twice more. Climbing Everest is a bucket-list feat of endurance, danger and wonder. But for Kami Rita it is just another day at work. Picture: AFP Photo/Seven Summit Treks.

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A Sherpa guide has summited Mount Everest for the 25th time, breaking his own record for the most ascents* of the world’s highest peak.

Kami Rita and 11 other Sherpa guides reached the summit about 6pm Nepal time on May 7, Nepal’s Department of Tourism official Mira Acharya said.

They are the first group of climbers to reach the summit this year and were fixing the ropes on the icy route so that hundreds of other climbers can scale the peak later this month.

Everest was closed to climbing last year on both its southern side, which is in Nepal, and its northern side, which is in China, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nepal has issued climbing permits this year to 408 foreign climbers despite a worsening COVID-19 outbreak.

China has opened the northern slope to only a few dozen mountaineers who will be tested for the coronavirus and must keep their distance while climbing.

Kami, 51, first climbed Everest in 1994 and has been making the trip nearly every year since then. You can read about his record breaking 23rd summit in the Kids News story HERE

He is one of many Sherpa guides whose experience and skills are vital* to the safety and success of the hundreds of climbers who head to Nepal each year seeking to stand on top of the 8848.86m mountain.

media_cameraNepal’s mountaineer Kami Rita pictured at the Everest base camp before his record-breaking ascent. Picture: Prakash Mathema/AFP.

His father was among the first Sherpa guides and Kami followed in his footsteps. In addition to his 25 times to the top of Everest, he has climbed to the top of several other peaks that are among the world’s highest, including K-2, Cho-Oyu, Manaslu and Lhotse.

He was at Everest’s base camp in 2015 when an avalanche* swept through and 19 people died. After that tragedy his family wanted him to stop mountaineering, but he decided to keep going.

Forty-three teams have permission to climb Everest during this year’s spring climbing season and will be assisted by about 400 Nepalese guides.

Each May, there are usually only a few periods of good weather at the summit during which climbers can attempt to scale the peak.

SHERPAS

Sherpas are an indigenous people from the Himalayas, descended from Tibetan heritage.

Traditionally, Sherpas believe that the summits of mountains are where gods live and they should be admired from far away rather than conquered*.

Before summiting a mountain, Sherpas perform a prayer and flag ceremony called Puja, which is a way of paying respect to the gods of the mountain.

One of the most famous Sherpas is Tenzing Norgay, who, in 1953 with Sir Edmund Hillary, became the first person to summit Everest.

media_cameraSherpa Kami Rita pictured May 2, 2021, at Everest base camp ahead of reaching the summit for the 25th time, breaking his own record for most summits of the highest mountain in the world. Picture: Prakash Mathema/AFP.

CHINA DRAWS LINE AT EVEREST PEAK

China will draw a “separation line” at the top of Mount Everest to stop coronavirus being spread by climbers on Nepal’s side of the mountain.

Chinese state media has reported that a team of Tibetan mountaineering guides will set up the separation line at the peak before climbers attempt to reach the summit from the Chinese side.

It is not clear what the separation line will be made of.

The climbers ascending the north side of the mountain from China will not be allowed to cross the line or come into contact with anyone or any objects on the south, or Nepalese, side.

Both countries suspended the climbing season on the world’s highest mountain last year due to the pandemic.

Nepal has issued permits allowing 408 foreigners to attempt climbs this year as it tries to boost tourism. China has issued permits to 38 climbers.

While China has mostly controlled the spread of the virus within its borders, Nepal is experiencing record numbers of new infections and deaths. Most major cities and towns in Nepal are under lockdown and all domestic and international flights are grounded.

GLOSSARY

  • ascents: climbs to the top of a hill or mountain
  • vital: essential
  • avalanche: lots of snow, ice or rock falling down a mountain
  • conquered: beaten or taken control of

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QUICK QUIZ

  1. Which mountain is this story about?
  2. What is the name of the Sherpa?
  3. How many times has he reached the summit?
  4. Why are fewer people going to climb this year?
  5. How high is the mountain?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. Everest Expert
Kami, the expert Sherpa guide, has climbed the highest mountain in the world 25 times. Create a three column table for personality traits, physical attributes and mental attributes and below each heading write a list of all the traits that Kami must possess to have reached this milestone.

Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Health and Physical education, Critical and creative thinking

2. Extension
After a horrific avalanche in 2015 that killed 19 people, Kami’s family wanted him to give up mountaineering. Why do you think Kami decided he wanted to keep doing it?

Does there need to be a certain level of fear and adrenaline each time he climbs to be successful?

Time: allow 10 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Critical and creative thinking

VCOP ACTIVITY
Proper Noun Police
A proper noun is a noun that names a particular person, place or thing. It always has a capital letter.

How many proper nouns can you find within this article? Find them all and sort them into the category of name, place, time (date/month).

Can you find any proper nouns included in your writing?

What are they?

Can you sort them into their categories?

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