Mt Everest, the highest point on Earth at 8,848 meters (29,029 feet) above sea level, is a natural magnet for world records. People first reached its summit (Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand) in 1953. Some have climbed it without oxygen, and even solo like the famous Reinhold Messner of Italy. The oldest person to summit, Sherman Bull of New Canaan, Connecticut, did so at the age of 64. And one boy, Jordan Romero, recently climbed the peak at the age of 13 in 2010. The legally blind Erik Weihenmeyer reached the peak in 2001.
And believe it or not, a Utah resident holds the record for reaching the summit the greatest number of times. At 9:15 this morning (Nepali time), Apa Sherpa reached the summit of the world’s most famous peak for his record 21st time.
A native of Thame, Nepal, he has worked in the mountains since the age of 12. As a very young boy, he had a reputation for being able to carry tremendous loads at high speeds -especially considering his very small size. He began working on Everst in 1988, but wouldn’t actually summit until May 10, 1990.
Sherpa, 51 years old, has been a Draper, Utah resident since 2006. He lives with his wife and three children. On his website, he states that given the choice, he would readily trade his world records for an education and a career in medicine; their relocation to Utah is because of his and his wife’s desire to educate their children.