First climbers of 2018 reach Mount Everest summit

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"Kami Rita Sherpa reached the summit this morning at around 8:30 a.m. local time along with other climbers", Gyanendra Shrestha, an official at the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, told Xinhua via telephone from the base camp.

With this, he becomes the only man to climb Everest 22 times leaving Apa Sherpa and Phurba Tashi Sherpa behind, who have reached the top of the world 21 times.

Mr Kami Rita Sherpa, a professional guide, and Ms Lhakpa Sherpa, who works in a supermarket in CT, reached the summit from opposite sides of the 8,848m mountain.

Sherpa, a resident of Thame village in Solukhumbu district of Nepal where Qomolangma is located, has already climbed the world's tallest peak 21 times successfully. He said he wants to do this not to break records or set new ones but because of his passion and zeal to climb the Everest.

Mr Kami Rita first reached the top of Everest in 1994 when working for a commercial expedition.

Lakpa Sherpa, 44, the world's most successful female Everest climber, also made her ninth climb to the top of the mountain on Wednesday - breaking her own record set past year.

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Apart from Kami, dozens climbed the mountain Wednesday, Shrestha said from the Base Camp.

According to Sherpa, she wants to climb Mt Everest for at least 10 times.

A Sherpa guide has been missing on Everest's southern side in Nepal since Monday, said Mingma of Seven Summits.

The mountain is climbed taking advantage of narrow weather windows between mid- to late May, after weeks of acclimatization at lower altitudes.

"They are searching for him on the way down", he said of the team that has just summited.

Without having any formal training on mountain climbing, Lhakpa, who grew up with 11 siblings, first climbed Mt Everest from Nepal side in 2000.

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