Kami Rita is one of just three people to scale Everest 21 times. The other two have retired, but he’s heading back to the mountain, saying climbing is a family tradition and pays well in a country with rampant poverty.
He also wants the number of Everest climbers to be limited. The mountain has only a brief window of weather good enough for summit attempts, normally in mid-May, a situation that regularly results in mountaineering traffic jams.
Since Nepal opened to foreign trekkers in 1950, Rita says climbing has become safer, with better equipment and complex weather forecasting to warn of the mountain’s deadly storms.