In a short interview of Kami Rita Sherpa who has climbed Everest for 22 times, expresses his view towards climbing the highest peak. Part of the discussion with Indian climber Umesh Zirpe is published here.
Q: Mr. Kami Rita sir, congratulations, you have scaled Mt. Everest, the highest peak of our planet for 22 times. You have made a world record. How do you feel right now?
Kami: Thank you Sir. Right now I am happy, not only for me but also for my country. I have taken my country's flag to Mt. Everest for 22 times. People are very happy for me. I am also very excited right now.
Q: Kami, you first scaled Mt. Everest in 1994. Am I right? 1994 and now it is 2018. For 22 years, you have been going to Mt. Everest. So, is climbing Mt. Everest easier for you? Is it easy to climb?
Kami: No, not only Mt. Everest, no mountains are easy. Every season, every day, it is changing and it depends on weather. It's different. So no mountain is easy, it is very difficult. Sometimes weather is bad, sometimes there's heavy snowfall and sometimes avalanche. So the mountains are difficult.
Q: Kami your age is 48 now and you are going to Mt. Everest again and again. So what are your future plans? Are you going to Mt. Everest again?
Kami: Yes, if God Chomolungma helps me, then my body is okay, so I will be going for 6 more years.
Q: Okay, you are praying to God Chomolungma to keep your health good and you want to climb Chomolungma and go to the top again and again. So 6 more years mean you will be 55.
Q: Kami, your journey started as a porter in the mountains and now you are a very experienced guide for all mountaineers. Nowadays, how do you feel? Are you enjoying the responsibilities? Or are these different types of responsibilities gives a little bit of tension?
Kami: Yeah, so many responsibilities are there. To take care of the clients, take care of Sherpas, take care of the team, take care of the oxygen supply and everything. It is very difficult. Have to take care of the clients in all situations.
Q: Kami nowadays there are many people who want to climb Everest and there are many new Sherpas who are assisting these climbers. Commercially, many Sherpas are there but many of them are not trained. So, there are many tragedies and casualties. What would you like to say about this?
Kami: I would like to say that mostly new generation Sherpa and any new clients should first check for a good training. See, first you take 5000m, 5500m, 6000m, 6500m and 7000m and then after that you try to climb Mt. Everest or any other mountain. So that no knowledge causes many accidents and many injuries on Mt. Everest.
Q: According to you, new Sherpas as well as new climbers must have step by step training.
Kami: That is most important for safety.
Q: What do you want to see after climbing the Mt. Everest? There are several advantages for you. You can settle in US; you can earn a lot of money there. As you told previously that you want to go to Mt. Everest again and so are you going to stay in Nepal or shifting elsewhere?
Kami: I am staying in my country. But I don't want to be a foreign citizen. Right now I want to highlight Nepal and Mount Everest to other countries. I am visiting but only visiting for 2 months, 3 months in US and Germany Respectively. I am not going to be a citizen of any other country.
Q: Will you only live in Nepal and climb Mt. Everest and other mountains?
Kami: I would like to establish my own charitable foundation at my native place as Thame is a remote area. There isn't any single good hospital. Therefore, I am thinking about setting up a reliable medical facility there.
Q: So, you want to do some social work regarding medical and education at Thame.
Kami: Yes, I am opening a Kami Rita foundation soon.
Q: Kami, nowadays many climbers from all around the globe, are coming to Mt. Everest because Mt. Everest seems fascinating. Many people are coming here just for name and fame, they are not interested in true mountaineering. So there is a lot of rush and traffic jam on Everest. So what would you like to suggest to reduce this crowding on Everest?
Kami: I would say just follow the regulations and rules. They (DOT) must reduce issuing so much of permits.
Q: Last but not the least, how do you feel in Pune? Is this your first trip to India?
Kami: Yes, I am very happy and excited to be in Pune and Mumbai. This is my first time in India. I would actually like to convey my best wishes to the committee member of Giripremi and family; You guys have chosen me as a special guest and invited me here. I am very happy to have met you all. You have your upcoming Kangchenjunga eco-expedition in 2019. May God bless you in all your programs. Thank you very much.
Photo Courtesy: Umesh Zirpe
*** The Interview was taken on August 2018 | The title of the news was edited