Kamirita Sherpa: The Man Who Conquered Everest 30 Times

Kamirita Sherpa's face reflects a distinct mix of happiness and uncertainty about the future as he recounts his journey. "Where I am today, I did not arrive easily," he says. His story is one of relentless struggle and perseverance, starting at the tender age of 12. From carrying heavy loads as a porter, working as a kitchen helper, to becoming a guide and leader, Kamirita's path to becoming a world record holder is paved with immense effort, determination, and resilience.

Early Life and Education

Born in Thame, Solukhumbu, in 1970, Kamirita's early life was marked by hardship. Despite only completing up to the fourth grade, his proficiency in English is remarkable. The nearest school beyond the fourth grade was a three-hour journey away, making daily commuting for education impractical. Consequently, Kamirita had to abandon formal education and spend five years in a local monastery. However, the responsibilities of a large family and his father's solitary efforts to support them drove him to seek employment.

The Path to Mountaineering

Kamirita's father was a mountain guide, and following in his footsteps, Kamirita began working as a porter at the age of 12, carrying loads from Lukla to Everest Base Camp. Over time, he gained experience and skills, eventually becoming an assistant and then a guide, leading tourists on treks to peaks as high as 6,000 meters.

"Not everything can be learned from books; some things you learn only by experiencing them firsthand," Kamirita reflects. Through his journey, he picked up English and other languages, often through trial and error, and continues to learn even today.

Climbing Career and Records

Kamirita respects hard work and understands the struggles faced by those starting from the bottom, having been a porter, kitchen helper, and Sherpa himself. His ascent to the summit of Mount Everest for the first time in 1994 at the age of 24 marked the beginning of an extraordinary career in mountaineering. By 2022, Kamirita had summited Everest 26 times, setting and breaking his own records since 2018.

The second-highest record holder, Appa Sherpa, previously held the record for the most Everest ascents at 21 times, which Kamirita surpassed in May 2018 with his 22nd ascent. Kamirita's dedication to mountaineering extends beyond Everest; he has successfully summited Annapurna IV, Cho Oyu, Lhotse, K2, and Manaslu, among others.

Cultural and Spiritual Connections

Despite his achievements, Kamirita remains deeply connected to the cultural and spiritual aspects of climbing. Each ascent begins and ends with rituals and prayers. While Kamirita is on Everest, his wife, Lakpa Jangmu Sherpa, remains in Kathmandu, engaged in prayer for his safety. Kamirita himself performs forgiveness rituals on the mountain, asking for permission and offering respect to the deities believed to inhabit the peaks.

Recognition and Continued Achievement

In 2019, Kamirita received the Suprabal Janasewa Shree medal from President Bidya Devi Bhandari, and the previous year, he was awarded a Guinness World Records certificate for the most Everest ascents. His accomplishments are a testament to his unyielding dedication, making him a true icon in the world of mountaineering.

Kamirita continues to push boundaries and break his own records. On May 12, 2024, he completed his 29th ascent of Everest. Remarkably, in May 2024, he achieved his 30th ascent, further solidifying his legacy as the most prolific Everest climber in history.

Kamirita Sherpa's journey from a young porter to a world record holder is a story of unparalleled dedication, hard work, and an unbreakable spirit. His life is a testament to the power of perseverance and the heights that can be reached when one refuses to give up.

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