KATMANDU, Nepal – A Nepalese Sherpa guide has once again broken his own record, scaling Mount Everest for the 19th time.
Appa, who like most Sherpas goes by one name, reached the 29,035-foot peak early Thursday, guiding foreign clients and accompanied by several other fellow guides, said Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.
Tshering said Appa and members of the team are safe and returning to lower camps after spending a few minutes on top of the world.
Appa, 48, first climbed Everest in 1989 and has done so almost every year since. His closest rival is fellow Sherpa guide Chhewang Nima, who has made 15 trips.
Appa now lives in the United States, having settled in the Salt Lake City suburb of Draper in 2006.
Scores of climbers are also reported to have scaled Everest on Thursday, Tshering said.
Dozens of climbers have reached the summit in the past three days after weather conditions on the mountain improved. Snow and high winds in the past few weeks had prevented climbers from making their way up the slopes of Everest.
May is considered the best time to climb the mountain. The harsh weather on Everest allows only about two windows — anywhere from a couple of days to a week — in May when conditions are favorable enough for the push to the summit.
Everest lies on the border between China and Nepal, and most mountaineers climb from the Nepalese side, although many also attempt the northeast ridge route that originates in Tibet.