A veteran Nepalese Sherpa guide who was the first person to climb Mount Everest 10 times has died at the age of 72 after a long illness, family members said.
Ang Rita, among the first Sherpa guides to receive international fame for his accomplishments, had suffered from health problems for many years and had not climbed any mountains since setting the Everest record in 1996.
His daughter, Dolma Lhamo, said he died in his sleep at their home on the outskirts of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu.
The guide was a national hero known as the “snow leopard” but struggled financially and with his health. He was in bad health at his home in his mountain village in 1999 when his close friend, former Nepal Mountaineering Association president Ang Tshering, hired a helicopter and flew him to a hospital in Kathmandu for treatment.
Sherpas are an ethnic group from the Himalayan region, many of whom work as guides or support staff for foreign climbers. They carry equipment and supplies and dig paths in the snow and ice to help their clients get to the summit, usually with little recognition.