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Apa Sherpa – 18 times on top of Mt. Everest

by Nalini Chibber

Apa Sherpa reached  the summit of Mt. Everest on May 22 - for the 18th time

It was 5.45 on the morning of May 22, 2008 – as Apa Sherpa stood on the summit of the highest mountain on earth - Mount Everest – not for the first, or second, or third time - but for the 18th time. Apa had just broken his own world record, one he has owned since his 10th summit in 1999 – and seven ascents in seven consecutive years. In 1992, he summited twice, on May 12 and Oct 7. Will there be a 19th? "The mountain is always there" says a humble Apa – one of the greatest living mountaineers.

David Oliver Relin, the NY Best selling author of Three Cups of Tea, is working on a book on Apa Sherpa. It will be available in 2009.

Mt Everest remained elusive and unconquerable until a little over fifty-five years ago. When Hillary and Tenzing became, in 1953, the first to step on the summit of the highest mountain on earth – it was breaking news like none other before. They were global heroes – one a climber from New Zealand, the other an equally passionate climber - and a Sherpa. The mere fact that they had made it to the top of the world was welcomed with worldwide celebrations and knighthood for Edmund Hillary. Nobody in his or her rational mind could have then dared to dream that fifty-five years on, a forty-eight year old Sherpa would celebrate his eighteenth successful summit attempt – a world record many times over. Yes – ‘The Mountain’ let him do it eighteen times! His wife, three children, and friend Jerry Mika celebrated the news over a pizza dinner at home in Draper, Utah (USA).


Read the entire story in the July - September 2008  print edition of

The South Asian Life & Times

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