Nepali scales Everest record 24 times: with one more to go

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KATHMANDU (Reuters) - A Nepali sherpa reached the summit of Mount Everest a record 24th time on Tuesday, an official said, his second ascent in just a week, and he has set his sights on one more climb before he retires.

Kami Rita Sherpa, 49, reached the 8,850 meter (29,035 feet) summit by the traditional southeast ridge route, tourism department official Mira Acharya said.

The route was pioneered by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953 and remains the most popular snow trail leading to the highest point on Earth.

Two other climbers, both sherpas, have scaled Everest 21 times each. They have both retired from mountaineering.

Kami, who goes by his first name, says he wants to climb the mountain one more time.

“I am still strong and want to climb Sagarmatha 25 times,” Kami told Reuters before leaving for his 23rd climb, referring to the Nepali name for Everest.

Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Euan Rocha, Sanjeev Miglani and Nick Macfie