Sherpa guide to scale Mt. Everest for a record 19th time
KATHMANDU, Nepal - A Sherpa guide who holds the record for most climbs up Mount Everest set off yesterday on a new expedition to scale the world's highest mountain for a 19th time.
Appa, who like most Sherpas goes by one name, flew with his team out of the capital, Kathmandu, for the small airstrip at Lukla, from where they will trek to Everest's base camp and spend a few days acclimatizing and preparing for their summit bid in May.
"Everest is not easy to climb, but after scaling the summit so many times, I am more confident and experienced," Appa said. "It should not be too difficult but I have to always be careful."
He first climbed the 29,085-foot summit 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, 48, and his fellow climbers plan to carry down loads of trash that has accumulated on the snowy slopes and educate other climbers about the negative impact that human waste has on the mountain.
"We are taking hundreds of bags that can be used to store human waste and carry them down the mountain," Appa told the Associated Press.
Appa said most climbers carry down garbage such as food packages and empty oxygen tanks but leave behind human waste.