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KATHMANDU: A Nepali sherpa scaled Mount Everest for a record 26th time, beating his own previous record set last year, a government official said on Sunday.

Kami Rita Sherpa, 52, scaled the 8,848.86-metre (29,031.69-foot) mountain on Saturday along the traditional southeast ridge route leading 10 other Sherpa climbers.

“Kami Rita has broken his own record and established a new world record in climbing,” said Taranath Adhikari, director general of the Department of Tourism in capital Kathmandu.

Kami Rita’s wife, who gave her name as Jangmu said she was happy over the achievement of her husband.

The climbing route used by Kami Rita was pioneered by New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepal’s sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953 and remains the most popular.

This year Nepal has issued 316 permits to climb Everest in the peak season, which runs through May, compared with 408 last year, the highest ever.

Indian climber dies in Nepal-hiking official

The Himalayan nation, which is heavily reliant on climbers for foreign exchange, faced criticism for allowing overcrowding and several climber deaths on the mountains in 2019.

Everest has been climbed 10,657 times since it was first scaled in 1953 from Nepali and Tibetan sides - many have climbed multiple times, and 311 people have died so far, according to the Himalayan database.

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