Everest superstar eyes 20th summitMarch 12th, 2010 - 5:16 pm ICT by IANS
By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, March 12 (IANS) Fifty-year-old Apa Sherpa, who has become almost as legendary as the mountain that has been his permanent pursuit, is aiming to break his own incredible record by summiting Mt Everest, the highest peak in the world, for the 20th time this summer.
The soft-spoken modest “Super Sherpa” who comes from Thame village in northern Nepal, the home of another legendary Everest climber Tenzing Norgay, will seek to conquer Mt Everest as part of the Eco Everest 2010 expedition that targets to clean the mountain of garbage left behind by earlier climbers.
Apa, the man to have climbed Mt Everest the highest number of times, began climbing from the age of 12 to earn his living.
But even after becoming a record climber, poverty and the lack of opportunities in Nepal forced him to migrate to the US in the hope he would be able to provide his children with better education and a better way of life.
Apa will arrive in Kathmandu March 31, said Dawa Sherpa of Asian Trekking, the Kathmandu-based climbing agency that is handling the logistics of the expedition. The expedition will leave Kathmandu April 6 aiming to summit in May.
The 12-member team has a record number of Indians - four, including two women.
They are Mamata Sodah from Haryana, Arjun Vajpayee (Maharashtra), Bhagyashree Sawant (Maharashtra) and Ashok Vardhan (New Delhi).
“The focus will be on climbing in an eco-sensitive manner, bringing old garbage, and all human waste produced on the mountain down to base camp for proper disposal,” said Ang Tshering Sherpa, Asian Trekking chief.
The brainchild of Nepali Everest summiter Dawa Steven Sherpa, the expedition plans to collect and bring down garbage left by previous expeditions between the altitudes of 6500 m and above.
In 2009, the Eco Everest Expedition 2009 team brought down nearly 6,000 kg of garbage from Mt. Everest and this year, the plan is to collect 7,500 kg of garbage, including 1,000kg from altitude above 6,500m.
Mt Everest is 8,848m high.
As expeditions to Mt Everest and other Himalayan peaks kick off from April, Nepal will also celebrate 29 May - the day in 1953 when New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing became the first men to reach the peak - with the gathering of over 250 Everest heroes.
They will include living legends like British climber Chris Bonington, Peter Habelar, the first climber to have summited Mt Everest without bottled oxygen and Min Bahadur Serchan, the oldest climber to have scaled the peak at the age of 76.
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- Mamata Banerjee gets towering gifts - from the Himalayas - May 21, 2011
- Bravehearts write new records on Mt Everest - May 07, 2011
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- Haryana teacher sets sights on Mt Everest - Mar 24, 2010
- Nepal's 9-yr-old to defy age bar for Everest record - Nov 05, 2010
- Indian schoolboy rewrites history on the Himalayas - May 20, 2011
- Super Sherpa climbs Everest for incredible 20th time - May 22, 2010
- 19 times Everest summiter missing after avalanche in Nepal - Oct 25, 2010
Tags: altitudes, apa sherpa, arjun, ashok, asian trekking, better education, bhagyashree, brainchild, climbers, everest climber, everest expedition, everest summiter, expeditions, member team, mt everest, nepali, northern nepal, sarkar, sensitive manner, tenzing norgay