'Super Sherpa' breaks Everest record with 21 summits

'Super Sherpa' breaks Everest record with 21 summits

Apa Sherpa, climbing leader of Eco Everest Expedition 2011, reached the 8,848m peak at 9.15 a.m. Wednesday, carrying the message "Stop climate change" and participating in an initiative to remove the garbage left on the mountain by previous expeditions, said Ang Tshering Sherpa, immediate past president of Nepal Mountaineering Association.
Apa, a small but wiry man also famed for his modesty and desire to steer clear of limelight, had begun his Everest summits from 1990.

Since 2008, he has been summiting the peak, considered sacred by the Sherpas, as part of the Eco Everest expeditions, the brainchild of a young climber Dawa Steven Sherpa, who was inspired by Sir Edmund Hillary to combine climbing with community service.
The Eco Everest expeditions run a cash for trash project each year, paying porters and climbers money for fetching garbage and bringing it down.

Last year, Apa's Everest summit had a second sacred mission as well: to take part of the first Everest hero, Sir Edmund Hillary's ashes to a high-altitude monastery in northern Nepal for a memorial.

Born in a poor Sherpa family in the mountainous region of Nepal where education and access to medicare was nonexistent, Apa became a high-altitude porter and guide, risking his life each year on the Himalayan slopes to eke out a hard living.

Recently, he immigrated to the US in order to give his children the education that he himself had lacked, he told IANS. By that time, he had become famous worldwide as the "Super Sherpa".

Five more people also made it to the summit with Apa Wednesday, Ang Tshering said.
They are American Chris Shumate, 49, Swiss Bruno Gremior, 39, and three more high altitude Sherpa guides from Nepal: Ang Dawa Sherpa, Phurba Sherpa and Arita Sherpa.

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