Ang Rita Sherpa, the first person to climb Mount Everest 10 times, died after a long illness, his family said, in what fellow Sherpas called a great loss to Nepal and the climbing community.
All the climbs to the 8,850-meter peak of the highest mountain in the world between 1983 and 1996 from Ang Rita, which was called by its first name, like many Sherpas, were made without bottled oxygen. He was among the first Sherpa leaders to gain international fame for his achievements.
The 72-year-old man, who has long suffered from brain and liver diseases, died on Monday at his home in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu, his grandson Furba Chering told Reuters.
Ang Rita is also known as the “snow leopard”
“He was a rising star and his death is a great loss for the country and the climbing fraternity,” said Ang Zering Sherpa, former president of the Mountaineering Association in Nepal.
The body will be placed in a Sherpa Gomba or sacred site in Kathmandu and cremated on Wednesday according to Sherpa tradition, Ang Zaring said.
Since then, many other climbers have surpassed Ang Rita’s feat, with one community member setting a record of 24 climbs.
He is survived by a daughter and two sons.