Kami Rita, at first glance, seems like a humble man of no extraordinary means. Looking beyond the surface, Kami is a renowned Sherpa who has climbed Mt. Everest more than most explorers. Life as a Sherpa can be dangerous, but Kami is highly respected, experienced, and a devout adherent to his faith. More than 20 times, Kami has helped guide adventurous souls to Mt. Everest’s summit, while dealing with frigid temperatures and little to no oxygen.
Thrill Of The Ascent
Nepal is recognized for its Sherpas. These brave souls have in-depth knowledge and the stamina to guide others through treacherous territory to reach soaring heights. Kami Rita, his father, and brother are all distinguished Sherpas. Rita was born in 1970, in the small Nepalese village of Thame. He started learning the ropes of climbing and guiding people through mountains around 12-years-old. At the age of 24, Kami had scaled Mt. Everest.
Scaling Mt. Everest is not for the faint of heart. Reaching the summit requires preparation, confidence, and the nerve to climb some 29,035 feet to the top. Climbers trust Sherpas to safely guide them while journeying between base camps set up at strategic points along their path. Adrenaline junkies desiring to reach Mt. Everest’s peak tolerate wearing oxygen tanks, bundling up against brutally cold wind gusts, and rely on ropes. Even experienced Sherpas have succumbed to injuries and fatalities to reach the top.
Fearless Through Faith
Sherpa Kami Rita doesn’t only rely on being a seasoned expert at scaling mountains. The Sherpa maintains himself by venerating the mountain ranges he climbs with the utmost respect. He believes a divine goddess inhabits each mountain. Before attempting any journey up Mt. Everest or other mountains, he prays for forgiveness and makes offerings months ahead. Kami believes that proper devotion and respect is necessary for his success, as he has stated, “…I will have to put my feet on her body.”
It may be hard to believe, but Kami Rita is the only Sherpa to have reached the summit of Mt. Everest a record-breaking number of times. One week, the Sherpa managed to climb Mt. Everest twice! Compared to other Sherpas, Kami has reached the top of Mt. Everest 24 times. He figures he will continue working as a Sherpa until he retires at 60. Each successful climbing expedition pays Kami $10,000, which allows him to support his family. It is dangerous work, but Kami is committed to following a rich tradition.
A Climbing Wonder
Kami Rita has not only climbed Mt. Everest, but he has lead others to the summit of K-2, Manaslu, Cho-Oyu, Annapurna, and Lhotse. The humble Sherpa has received plenty of media attention and awards for his incredible feats. Rita has been employed by Seven Summits Treks, Alpine Ascents International, and is the brand ambassador for Brij Super Premium OPC. Until his body no longer allows him to work as a Sherpa, Kami has no plans on retiring anytime soon. Only one person in Kami’s life wishes he would take up less dangerous work.
Lakpa Jangmu, Kami’s wife and mother of his two children, stated, ” I keep telling him we could look for other jobs, start a small business.” Kami is so dedicated to the life of climbing mountains he is unwilling to listen to his wife. Kami and Lakpa’s have agreed that their children will not be mountain guides and that they will receive an education so they can choose safer occupations in the future. Many Sherpas fell into their life’s work because they were poor, illiterate, and needed a way to survive. Although the government does not support Sherpas, they are sought-after and respected around the world for being fearless, and masterful guides of the highest mountains.
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