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Nepal’s Lhaka Sherpa breaks her own female record by scaling Mount Everest for 10th time

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Nepalese female climber Lhakpa Sherpa broke her own record for the most climbs of the world’s highest peak by a female climber. Photo: AP

A 48-year-old Nepali woman scaled Mount Everest for the 10th time on Thursday, breaking her own record for the most summits of the world’s highest mountain by a female climber, her hiking company said.

Lhakpa Sherpa last climbed the 8,848.86-metre (29,031.69-foot) mountain in 2018.

“Lhakpa has broken her own record and become the first woman to achieve 10 summits,” her brother Mingma Gelu Sherpa, an official of her Seven Summit Club hiking agency, told Reuters.

A Nepali tourism official, Bhishma Kumar Bhattarai, confirmed she reached the summit.

One of 11 children, Lhakpa was born in the eastern district of Sankhuwasabha, home to the world’s fifth highest mountain, Makalu.

Also on Thursday, seven members of an “All Black Expedition” comprising climbers from the United States and Kenya climbed Mount Everest, said Jeevan Ghimire of the Shangrila-Nepal Trek hiking company.

Fewer than 10 black mountaineers in total had reached the peak before, but this is the first time that all members of an expedition were Black, hiking officials said.

Everest has been climbed 10,657 times since it was first scaled in 1953 from the Nepali and Tibetan sides. Many have climbed it more than once, and 311 people have died.

On Sunday, a fellow Nepali, Kami Rita Sherpa, broke the men’s record of 26 climbs, beating his own previous record set last year.

“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.

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.

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.