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Apa Sherpa returning to Everest — for the 21st summit

Published March 10, 2011 9:25 am

Mountain climbing • Utah's Apa Sherpa is preparing for his annual climb.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

While other Utahns are planning spring break trips to southern Utah and Disneyland, Apa Sherpa is preparing for his annual trip to the tallest point on the planet.

Apa, 51, has confirmed that in May he will attempt to break his own impressive world record of 20 trips to the top of Mount Everest.

"They wanted me to go and be a base camp manager," Apa said. "I told them if I go to base camp for two months, then I am going to climb to the top. Sitting there is no fun."

So the 5-foot-4, 120-pound Apa will leave his Draper home April 1 to join Asian Trekking on the Eco Everest 2011 Expedition, hoping to push his record to 21. Apa, who has lived in Utah since 2006, has made it to the top of Everest (29,035 feet above sea level) nine years in a row and 20 of the past 21 years.

He initially climbed the mountain to get clients to the top, but his recent expeditions have had more activist aims: promoting awareness for better education in Nepal, pointing out the impact of global climate change on the Himalayan Highlands and working to help clean up trash from the mountain.

Apa's attempt is being sponsored by Diamond Mold, the Utah company he has worked for since 2007. Technically, you might consider this attempt to reach the top of the world a business trip.

After three years of supporting Apa and then waiting patiently for his return, his boss Terrell Pool has decided to accompany his good friend in Nepal.

"I have wanted to go the other years, but just couldn't make it work," Pool said. The trip will help the company launch Summit CathWorks, a secondary spinoff company.

Pool has no plans to reach the top of Everest, but is hoping to make it as far as Camp 2 while Apa is acclimatizing to the elevation.

"My Mount Everest is right here [in Salt Lake] trying to create jobs," Pool said. "I have no expectations. I will go as far as Apa will let me. If he tells me I can go higher, I will go higher. If he tells me it is time to go down, I will."

Apa, who considers every moment on Everest a matter of life and death, is looking forward to the role reversal.

"When we are here, he is the boss," Apa said. "When we are in Nepal and climbing, I am the boss."

brettp@sltrib.com

Apa Sherpa's successful summits of Mount Everest

1. May 10, 1990

2. May 8, 1991

3. May 12, 1992

4. Oct. 7, 1992

5. May 10, 1993

6. Oct. 10, 1994

7. May 15, 1995

8. April 26, 1997

9. May 20, 1998

10. May 26, 1999

11. May 24, 2000

12. May 16, 2002

13. May 26, 2003

14. May 17, 2004

15. May 31, 2005

16. May 19, 2006

17. May 16, 2007

18. May 22, 2008

19. May 21, 2009

20. May 22, 2010

Source » Apa Sherpa