Sherpa scales Everest for 19th time

KATHMANDU: A Nepalese "Super Sherpa" conquered Mount Everest for a breathtaking 19th time on Thursday, breaking his own previous world record, officials said.

Apa Sherpa, 49, reached the summit of the world's highest peak early in the morning, Jitendra Giri, of the Nepalese mountaineering department, told AFP.

"He reached on top of Everest this morning and spent around half an hour on the summit," Giri said, adding that he was in good health and already heading back to base camp.

Apa unfurled a banner that read "Stop Climate Change, Let the Himalayas Live!," after reaching the summit.

Apa, who bagged his first Everest summit in 1990, climbed the mountain this spring season in an effort to raise global awareness about climate change and its impact on the Himalayas.

More than 100 climbers have already made it to the summit this spring season, in which 29 expedition teams are in action.

Apa's successful climb coincided with that of British adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who reached the summit on his third attempt just before midnight GMT on Wednesday.

Since it was first climbed in 1953 by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, the 8,848-metre (29,028-foot) mountain has been conquered more than 3,000 times.