Hundreds of Everest climbers begin to return from summit

May 17, 2022, 10:38 AM | Updated: 10:42 pm
Ukrainian mountaineer Antonina Samoilova waves as she arrives at the airport after climbing Mount E...

Ukrainian mountaineer Antonina Samoilova waves as she arrives at the airport after climbing Mount Everest, in Kathmandu, Nepal, Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Hundreds of climbers who scaled Mount Everest over the last few days taking advantage of favorable weather conditions have begun to return safely down the mountain. Samoilova said she hoped her achievement would call more attention to the war in her country. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

(AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Hundreds of climbers who scaled Mount Everest over the last few days taking advantage of favorable weather conditions have begun to return safely down the mountain.

Among them are climbers who set records on the world’s highest peak, including the first Ukrainian woman to scale Mount Everest.

A Nepali Sherpa broke her own record reaching the 8,849-meter (29,032-foot) summit for the 10th time — the most times any woman has climbed Mount Everest. Lakpa Sherpa, 48, said she is next planning to scale the world’s second-highest peak, K2 in Pakistan.

“K2 season is coming very soon,” she told reporters Tuesday.

Sherpa, who lives in the U.S. with her three children in West Hartford, Connecticut, started her climbing career carrying gear and supplies for other trekkers.

British climber Kenton Cool, who scaled Everest for the 16th time, set the record for the most Everest summits by a non-Nepalese climber. Nepalese Sherpa climber Kami Rita holds the record with 26 summits after breaking his own record earlier this month.

Ukrainian climber Antonina Samoilova said she hoped her achievement would call more attention to the war in her country.

“My main message for the climb was to bring attention of all the countries and governments of countries to be aware that in Ukraine we have still war and Ukrainian people are still fighting for their freedom for their future,” she said. “We need help from all sides.”

Hundreds of foreign climbers and an equal number of Sherpa guides had signed up to attempt climbs of Everest this month, when weather conditions in the Himalayan peaks are most favorable.

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Hundreds of Everest climbers begin to return from summit