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Nepali mountaineer sets world climbing record

A Nepali mountaineer has become the first person to complete double summits of all 14 of the world’s 8,000-metre peaks, expedition organisers said.

Sanu Sherpa, 47, reached the summit of Pakistan’s Gasherbrum II (8,035 metres) on Thursday morning, leading a Japanese client, completing his quest to stand on the world’s highest peaks twice. 

“This is a proud moment for us. Sanu Sherpa has made history in the mountaineering world by climbing all the 14 peaks not once, but twice,” expedition organiser Pasang Sherpa of Pioneer Adventure said.

Sherpa, who began working in mountaineering as a porter, climbed his first 8,000-metre mountain in 2006, guiding foreign climbers to the summit of Cho Oyu. 

By 2019, he had summited all 14 8,000-metre peaks at least once – one of around 40 people to do so.

READ MORE: Ukrainian climber summits Everest ‘for her people’

‘One more summit’

“I need one more summit to achieve my goal,” Sherpa wrote on Facebook in June before heading to Pakistan.

“With the warm wishes of my friends and god’s blessings, I’ve gained extra strength so, I’ll try to climb Mt. GII – 8,035m.”

Sherpa has reached the 8,849-metre top of Mount Everest seven times, and three times summited Lhotse and the challenging Manaslu.  

Nepali guides — usually ethnic Sherpas from the valleys around Everest — are considered the backbone of the climbing industry in the Himalayas, carrying the majority of equipment and food, fixing ropes and repairing ladders.

Long in the shadows as supporters of foreign climbers, they are slowly being recognised in their own right. 

Last year, a team of Nepali climbers made the first winter ascent of K2, the world’s second-highest peak — the notoriously challenging 8,611-metre “savage mountain” of Pakistan.

READ MORE: Mount Everest’s highest glacier melting rapidly due to climate crisis

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