Yesterday was the third straight day of summits on Everest, with more than 100 climbers making an attempt on the mountain from both Nepal’s South Side and from Tibet to the north. Weather conditions have been excellent and the winds at the summit have been unusually calm, aiding the climbers and extending the weather window longer than expected.
One of the climbers amidst the dozens going up the mountain is a mountaineering legend by the name of Apa Sherpa. Apa is the record holder for the most summits of any climber in Everest history, having recorded 18 previous trips up the mountain. Yesterday’s succesful summit adds to the legend, giving him number 19.
Apa began his illustrious career on Everest back in 1988 when, as a young guide, he made his first attempt on the mountain. That attempt ended in failure above 27,000 feet. The next two attempts also ended without Apa reaching the summit, but in 1990 he helped guide a team from New Zealand to the top of the world, standing on the peak of Everest for the first time. He has achieved a successful summit every year since.
Following that first summit, Apa became a Sirdar, or Senior Guide, and is now considred to be amongst the most skilled and experienced high mountain guides in the world. A few years back, he and his family, moved to Utah to give his children the opportunity for a better education, but each spring he returns to Nepal to lead a group of climbers up the tallest mountain on the planet.
Congratualtions to Apa Sherpa on his record 19th summit of Everest. What an amazing feat!