close up of ang rita sherpa

Guinness World Records is saddened to learn that Ang Rita Sherpa, who held two Guinness World Records titles, has passed away. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family at this difficult time.

Ang Rita Sherpa (Nepal, b. 27 July 1948) was an experienced mountaineer who climbed Mt Everest, the world’s highest mountain, multiple times.

He was so agile and quick when climbing he earned the nickname “snow leopard”.

He holds the record for the most climbs of Everest without supplementary oxygen, after climbing Everest 10 times between 7 May 1983 and 23 May 1996, all without the use of bottled oxygen. The record remains unequalled.

The record for the most ascents of Everest overall is held by fellow Nepali Kami Rita Sherpa, who has made 24 ascents as of May 2019.

Ang Rita Sherpa’s climbing career also includes nine successful ascents of three other mountains that reach over 8,000 m (26,246 ft).

He climbed Kangchenjunga (Nepal/India), the third highest mountain in the world at 8,586 m (28,169 ft), once in 1986. 

He also climbed Cho Oyu (China/Nepal), the sixth highest mountain at 8,188 m (26,864 ft), four times between 1984 and 1995.

Lastly he also summited Dhaulagiri I (Nepal), the seventh highest mountain at 8,167 m (26,795 ft), four times between 1979 and 1982. 

All of these ascents were also achieved without the use of supplementary oxygen.

He also holds the record for the first winter climb of Everest without supplementary oxygen, which he achieved on 22 December 1987, one day after the start of the calendar winter climbing season. 

Again, no other climber has repeated the feat since.

"Ang Rita earned the respect of everyone who ever faced a mountain, and his passion and enthusiasm for climbing in the Himalayas inspired countless others around the world to take up the challenge. But few have conquered Everest as he did - without the use of supplementary oxygen, and 10 times, no less - justifying his status as a hero of Nepal and a legend of the mountains." - Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief at Guinness World Records