We are so excited and honoured to announce that Nepali mountaineer Kami Rita Sherpa – world record holder with 26 Everest summits – is joining our Kilimanjaro Trek in August. Together with our patron, extreme explorer Bob Bhania, Kami will lead the trek for Rafiki Thabo Foundation.
With more than 35 years of mountaineering experience, Kami Rita is a world-renowned climber. He first set the record for Everest summits in 2018, after having shared the 21-summit record with two other climbers. Since then, Kami has broken his own world record five times in four years, with his 26th Everest summit in May 2022. In April 2023, Kami is making his 27th Everest attempt!
Kami Rita’s life has been tied to the mountain since he was a child. His father, Mingma Tshering Sherpa, was one of the first professional guides on Everest when Nepal began allowing international climbers in 1950, and Kami Rita worked as a porter transporting gear to Everest’s base camp from the age of 12.
Kami, his brother (Lapka Rita), and six sisters grew up in Thame, a village of about 45 stone houses down the valley from Everest. The family shared a small one-room house, with the yaks and other animals sleeping downstairs. Thame is a climbing village, and many of the men make their living in the Himalayas. Many famous climbing Sherpas hail from the area, including Tenzing Norgay, who made the first ascent of Everest, alongside Sir Edmund Hillary, in 1953. Even Kami’s father worked as a mountain guide until 1992.
Having been brought up with humble means, having to drop out of his own education due to lack of money, it is important to Kami that his children get an education with which they will have the opportunity to choose a less dangerous career ‘off the mountain’. We are heartened that in supporting our Kilimanjaro trek, Kami is also helping Rafiki Thabo raise awareness and funding for our work enabling education for disadvantaged children in Kenya, Uganda and Lesotho who without our support would not be able to afford their school fees.
Watch this endearing short documentary produced by Kami’s niece Fura Chhamzi Sherpa as a tribute to her uncle as he completed his World Record 24th Summit of Mount Everest. Here you will learn from Kami’s father about Kami’s early life, his legendary status as the Everestman and hear how Kami’s niece Fura could not complete her education due to disability and how Uncle Kami inspired her to set up her own business. Watch now.
With Kami Rita and Bob Bhania leading our fabulous team of trekkers up Kilimanjaro in August, we are in the most experienced and safest of hands. Kami and Bob truly are heavyweight mountaineers, and we are incredibly privileged to be taking on this amazing challenge with them.