Two Nepali Sherpas are taking one-upmanship to an excessive on high of the world.

Pasang Dawa Sherpa and Kami Rita Sherpa, adorned mountain guides and pals, have been scaling Mount Everest in speedy succession in current days in pursuit of the file for many ascents of the world’s highest peak.

It’s a grueling competitors with financial rewards and ample risks, turning what’s a once-in-a-lifetime expertise for many climbers right into a repeat efficiency for the veteran Sherpas.

For many years, the 2 males have been making an attempt to outdo one another, however the rivalry has heated up this 12 months. Their sequence of climbs started on Might 14, when Pasang Dawa Sherpa, 46, summited Everest for a record-tying twenty sixth time. Days later, Kami Rita Sherpa, 53, regained the crown together with his twenty seventh ascent of the mountain.

Then, on Monday, Pasang Dawa Sherpa — eight days after his earlier climb — did it once more. A day later, Kami Rita Sherpa reached the highest as soon as extra, for a brand new mark of 28 summits.

It was unclear whether or not Pasang Dawa Sherpa deliberate a 3rd ascent of Everest this season, which began in April and ends the primary week of June. Such a feat has by no means been tried within the historical past of Everest climbs, mountaineering consultants say.

Kami Rita Sherpa’s expedition company mentioned he needed to achieve 30 ascents earlier than retiring. Pasang Dawa Sherpa’s company mentioned he was decided to match and in the end break Kami Rita Sherpa’s file. Neither man was out there for remark.

Not everybody within the mountaineering world was cheering on the pleasant contest. Ang Tshering Sherpa, a former head of the Nepal Mountaineering Affiliation, mentioned any competitors on the mountain may flip lethal.

“Competitors in mountains poses a danger to life,” he mentioned. “Unhealthy competitors needs to be discouraged.”

Sherpas, the spine of Nepal’s climbing trade, have suffered practically one-third of the 315 recorded deaths on Everest over the previous century, in keeping with the Himalayan Database, a mountaineering record-keeping physique.

Since Pasang Dawa Sherpa first climbed Everest in 1998, he has typically summited the mountain twice in a 12 months, and he has made not less than one ascent virtually yearly, with a hiatus for the pandemic and an earthquake in Nepal.

So has Kami Rita Sherpa.

Their competitors displays the climbing trade’s restricted sources. An expedition firm with a record-holding Sherpa can draw extra shoppers. Expedition businesses provide Sherpas cash — actual quantities are unclear — for every record-breaking summit.

This 12 months, Nepal’s tourism division issued 478 permits to international climbers for Everest, and about 900 folks have been anticipated to summit, together with Sherpas. To date this season, 10 climbers, together with 4 Nepali guides, have died on Everest.

The Sherpas are the movers of each Everest conquest. They repair ropes, restore ladders and carry meals and gear.

Most, together with Pasang Dawa Sherpa and Kami Rita Sherpa, develop up round Everest, their goals of a greater life depending on the cash they earn once they assist a foreigner summit Everest. However many are leaving the occupation due to its risks, modest compensation and restricted security web.