Veteran Sherpa guide who set Everest record dies at age 72

KATHMANDU (AP/KATHMANDU POST) — Mountaineer Ang Rita Sherpa, who climbed Mt Everest 10 times without bottled oxygen and who is known by the epithet of Snow Leopard, died yesterday morning at his residence in Jorpati, according to former president of Nepal Mountaineering Association Ang Tshring Sherpa. He was 72.

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 yesterday at their home on the outskirts of Kathmandu.

Ang Rita was a national hero but struggled financially and with his health, including liver illness and swelling of the brain. He was in bad health at his home in his mountain village in 1999 when his close friend Ang Tshering hired a helicopter and flew him to a hospital in Kathmandu for treatment.

He was hospitalised again for months in 2017 due to continued swelling of the brain. The cause was not disclosed.