Nepal sherpa scales Everest for record 30th time; two climbers go missing

By Gopal Sharma

KATHMANDU (Reuters) -A Nepali sherpa guide scaled the summit of Mount Everest for a record 30th time on Wednesday, an official said, while two climbers went missing while descending from the world's tallest peak.

Ordinary climbers are known to take several days to climb the summit of Everest, and it is very rare for mountaineers to make multiple ascents in a short time.

Kami Rita Sherpa, 54, reached the 8,849-metre (29,032 foot) peak by the traditional southeast ridge route, Nepali tourism official Khim Lal Gautam said.

Kami Rita had climbed the peak for the 29th time on May 12.

He "broke his own record ... this marks his 30th ascent to the top of the world," Gautam, chief of the expedition monitoring field office at the base camp, said in a post on X.

Nepal tourism officials said a British climber and a Nepali guide have been missing since Tuesday, after they slipped and fell near the South Summit in the mountain's "death zone" where oxygen is very sparse.

They were on the way down after having reached the summit.

Kami Rita first climbed Everest in 1994, and has done so almost every year since, except for three years when authorities closed the mountain for various reasons.

Early on Wednesday, officials said they were waiting for more details of Kami Rita’s climb.

Another sherpa climber has climbed Everest 27 times, the most summits after Kami Rita.

Mountain climbing is a key tourism activity, source of revenue and employment in Nepal, home to eight of the world’s 14 highest peaks.

Two Mongolian climbers died last week on Everest.

(Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Gerry Doyle and Clarence Fernandez)