A famed Nepali Everest mountaineer nicknamed “snow leopard” for his record of summiting the world’s highest mountain for 10 times without bottled oxygen has died aged 72, after suffered a stroke, officials said Monday.
He had been fighting with his brain and liver ailment since 2017 and scummed to death on Monday, at his daughter’s home in Jorpati.
His body has been kept at a Sherpa Gomba, and will be cremated on Wednesday as per Sherpa tradition, said Ang Tshering, reports The Kathmandu Post.
According to news report Nepal Mountaineering Association president, Ang Tshering Sherpa and a close friend of late Ang Rita Sherpa described his death as a major loss to Nepal and its mountaineering community. He added that Ang Rita Sherpa, was the strongest climber in the world and a star during his time.
Nepal’s tourism department said his contribution to mountaineering “will be always be remembered.”
Kami Rita, who has climbed Everest 24 times, mostly with oxygen said Ang Rita is an inspiration for many foreign and Nepali climbers and remembers him as a strong and dedicated man.
Born in the Everest region, Ang Rita was a teenager when he first started working as a porter; however, quickly rose through the ranks to become a guide — summiting some of Nepal’s highest mountains.
As a veteran Nepalese Sherpa guide — his first eight-thousander was the 8,167-metre Dhaulagiri in western Nepal with a Belgian expedition in 1982. The mountain is considered one of the most challenging peaks to climb.
Ang Rita Sherpa, first reached the summit of the Everest after ascending 8,848-metre-high (29,028-foot) in 1983. He is one among the first Sherpa guides to receive international fame for his accomplishments. He had been suffering from health problems after setting the Everest record in 1996, and had not climbed ever since.
In 2017, the Guinness World Records recognized Ang Rita as the only person in the world to have climbed Mount Everest 10 times without bottled oxygen, between 1983 and 1996.
Guinness also recognized him as the first man to climb Everest in winter without supplementary oxygen in December 1987.
Some 200 mountaineers have climbed Everest without bottled oxygen, according to the authoritative Himalayan Database, but Ang Rita’s record remains.