Record Everest climber returns, already planning next trip

Record Everest climber returns, already planning next trip
Nepalese veteran Sherpa guide, Kami Rita, 48, waves as he arrives in Kathmandu, Nepal, Sunday, May 20, 2018. Rita, scaled Mount Everest on Wednesday morning May 16 for the 22nd time, setting the record for most climbs of the world's highest mountain, officials said. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A veteran Sherpa guide who scaled Mount Everest for a record 22nd time this past week has returned from the mountain and says he’s already planning his next trip.

Kami Rita flew back to Kathmandu by helicopter on Sunday, saying he’s not ready to retire and plans to continue to guide on Everest next year.

Friends and supporters welcomed the 48-year-old at Kathmandu’s airport with bouquets and traditional ceremonial scarves.

Two other Sherpa guides have climbed Everest 21 times, and both have already retired.

Kami Rita first scaled the world’s highest peak at age 24 and has made the climb to the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) summit almost every year since then.