Climbing legend Apa Sherpa is back in Nepal this Fall and attempting an as of yet unclimbed and unnamed peak in the Himalaya. According to this story in the Salt Lake Tribune, Apa has joined Swiss climber Stephane Schaffter, as well as Pakistani mountaineer Adbul Karim, on this expedition to a mountain that sits just two days trek from his home village of Thame in Nepal.
Apa set out for Kathmandu last week, where he is now preparing to take on this 22,200 foot peak, which sits not far from the NangPa La Pass, which is a popular trading route between Tibet and Namche Bazaar in Nepal. The pass was also the site of a now infamous show down between Chinese military and Tibetan refugees fleeing to Nepal a few years back.
Climbing in the Himalaya during the fall is a bit unusual for Apa, who is a mainstay on Everest in the spring. He is the current record holder for most summits on that mountain, having now reached the top of the world an unprecedented 19 times. He is wildly considered one of the strongest climbers in the world, and although he now lives in Utah, he still returns to his home country several times a year for various functions.
It is yet to be seen if he’ll go for a 20th summit next spring, but I wouldn’t bet against him. 20 sounds like a nice round number before hanging up the crampons on Everest for good. On the other hand, he’s only 49 years old and climbing as strong as ever, so I wouldn’t bet against him.
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