Weather postpones super Sherpa's 21st Everest summit bid
KATHMANDU, May 8: World´s most accomplished mountaineer Apa Sherpa, 51, called off his Mt Everest summit bid planned for Saturday after weather reports from the United States and Switzerland predicted strong winds around the world´s tallest peak.
“Apa called off the summit bid planned for today and is back in Camp 2. He plans to make an attempt to reach the top on May 10 when weather is expected to be better,” said And Tshering Sherpa of Asian Trekking that organized the Eco Everest Expedition- Spring 2011 led by Apa.
However, four members from Apa´s team -- two Brazilians and two Sherpas -- made it to the top on Saturday despite the unfavorable weather forecast.
Apa, who has climbed Mt Everest for a record 20 times, is leading the expedition that plans to bring down 5,000 kilograms of garbage littered along the mountain´s slopes to the Base Camp under a cash for trash scheme that rewards climbers and guides with Rs 100 per kilogram of garbage they carry down.
The expedition has 22 members from Nepal, Japan, United States, Switzerland, India, Brazil, Span and Mexico.
Sherpas make 18th and 17th summits
A dozen climbers have reached the top of the 8,848-meter peak in just three days this season since Sherpa climbers opened the south route on May 5 by fixing ropes from Camp 2 (6,500 meters) to the summit.
Nine people, including six Sherpas, reached the top on Friday alone.
Among them was Phurpa Tashi Sherpa who scaled the mountain for the 18th time, which is the second highest number of summits after Apa.
Tailing Phurpa is Kami Rita Sherpa who made his 17th summit, also on Friday. Another Sherpa climber Dorje Sonam made his 14th summit of the mountain the same day.
Apa´s rival in the record race (which Apa denies having participated in) died in a recent climbing accident. Chhewang Nima Sherpa, 43, who scaled Mt. Everest 19 times, was caught in an avalanche along the slopes of the 7,129-meter Mt. Baruntse in eastern Nepal on October 23 last year. He was fixing climbing ropes at 7,045 meters when the avalanche struck. He was leading an expedition comprising six British and an American climber.
Chhewang had plans to equal Apa´s record this year by scaling Mt. Everest twice. He was poised to eventually overtake Apa owing to age advantage.