Apa Sherpa--Going for 20
Apa Sherpa, a world-renowned mountain climber and Suunto athlete is nothing less than astounding. He is in the midst of attempting to summit Mt. Everest for the 20th time! If successful, the accomplishment will be a World Record--previously held by himself.
Largely acclaimed as one of the best climbers in the world, Apa Sherpa began climbing at a very early age. At 12 years old, he worked as an expedition porter following his father's untimely death. It didn't take long for Apa's uncanny ability and sheer strength to became noticed by fellow trekkers. Apa's first ascent of Everest was in May of 1990 and he has been leading teams ever since.
Currently, Apa is in his third rotation of altitude acclimatization before pushing for the summit with his team. Marshall Thompson, from Everest base camp, has been writing a very active blog about the team's progress.
Here is an excerpt (Before final rotation):
This is one of his last chances to get acclimatized and physically prepared for the summit push. Unfortunately, he has been plagued by a very bad case of the Khumbu Cough. A cough may not seem like that big of a deal, but when you’re struggling to get enough oxygen with every breath, a cough can cut your energy and ability to perform severely. Apa is taking it very practically. He says that if the cough is too bad, he will turn back and delay his last rotation.
Update after Snowstorm:
It should be noted that I’ve been told more than once today to stop worrying – everyone will be fine. I believe that. It’s just hard not to get worked up when you’re stuck at base camp looking up at the mountain. I’ve talked with Apa on the radio. His cough is gone and he seems very confident about what he’s doing. All I can say is that if I were stuck at Camp 2 on Mount Everest, I would want to be stuck with the guy who has climbed her more than anyone else. Last week I asked Apa if he had a special relationship to the Chomolungma (The Sherpa name for the Goddess who is Mount Everest). He laughed and said, “Maybe she’s watching over me, because she’s let me climb her so many times.”
Stay tuned for more updates from Everest! Good luck Apa and team!