efe-epaKathmandu

Nepal’s high-altitude climbing guide Kami Rita Sherpa, who just broke his own record by scaling Mt Everest for the 23rd time, is all set to attempt summitting the peak again.

A day after achieving the feat, the 49-year-old Kami Rita on Thursday told EFE over phone from the Everest base camp that he would set off on Saturday for his second climb this season to the top of the world's highest mountain.

The mountaineer has set a goal to climb Everest for at least 25 times in his lifetime.

Mingma Sherpa, chairman of Seven Summit Treks, the agency that handles Kami Rita’s expedition, confirmed the climber's own record-breaking next climb.

"We will be writing to the Department of Tourism on Friday regarding Kami Rita’s second ascent (this seson)," Mingma Sherpa told EFE.

Nepali guides are not required to pay Everest climbing permit fee, but expedition companies have to inform the department on their new plan.

A climbing permit for Mt Everest costs $11,000 for foreigners and 75,000 rupees (or nearly $700) for Nepalis. Climbers spend between $40,000 and $90,000 to climb the mountain.

Mingma Sherpa said Kami Rita “will probably begin the Everest push on May 23” after leaving the base camp this weekend.

As per rules, for the second attempt, climbers should come back to the Everest Base Camp and begin their journey again.

Kami Rita has earlier successfully climbed Everest twice in a single season three times — in 2009, 2010 and 2013.

He made his first ascent of the giant peak in 1994 when he was 24. One of his 23 climbs was made from the Chinese side in 2016.

If he succeeds in his latest bid, it will be Kami Rita’s fourth mountain expedition in two months.

Before scaling the top of Everest for his 23rd time, Kami Rita returned to Nepal on March 20 after climbing Mount Elbrus (5,642m) in southern Russia, the highest mountain in Europe.

He then flew to the Everest region and climbed Island Peak (6,189m) on March 24 before returning to Kathmandu again.

Hailing from Thame village in Solukhumbu district, Kami Rita succeeded in breaking the record of 21 Everest ascents set by Apa Sherpa and Phurba Tashi Sherpa in 2017, both of whom have announced their retirement.

Phurba Tashi gave up his plan to climb again in consideration with his family due to the extreme dangers.

On May 16 last year, Kami Rita made history by scaling Everest for a 22nd time.

This season, the Department of Tourism which issues climbing permits has granted permission to a record 378 fee-paying climbers to mount their bids on the world’s tallest peak.

With each climber hiring at least one local high-altitude climbing guide, the total number of individuals on the mountain has been estimated to reach 1,000.

The highest number of climbing permits issued for Everest was 371 in 2017. The success rate since last three years on Everest is over 65 percent.

sp/ssk