A British mountaineer reached the summit of the world’s tallest mountain a record-breaking 16th time over the weekend and said he has “more Everests left” in him.
Kenton Cool, 48, from Gloucestershire, reached the summit overnight on Saturday alongside a British fitness entrepreneur, who was on her first climb.
In completing the journey, he broke the record for the most climbs by a non-Sherpa.
He said there was a “feeling of euphoria in base camp” afterwards, adding they had the “perfect” day to summit.
“It’s arguably one of the best days I’ve ever had.
“We left under almost a full moon, crystal clear, the stars were just all over the place.
“We hardly needed head torches, it was comparatively warm, we weren’t wearing mittens, which we would normally do.
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“There weren’t that many people. So you hear about all the crowds, and we had none of that, we had the perfect day to the summit.”
In his previous 15 trips up Everest, Mr Cool has been a guide to other well-known mountaineers, including Sir Ranulph Fiennes and broadcaster Ben Fogle.
Fogle said Mr Cool is “one of the all-time greats”, adding: “To climb Everest once was a trial – to climb it 16 times is heroic.”
Told he would never walk
The feat is even more impressive considering Mr Cool was told he would never walk again unaided after shattering both heel bones in a rock climbing accident in 1996.
He still suffered from chronic pain and despite saying he was “hobbling around base camp”, he believes he isn’t done yet.
“I think I’ve got a few more Everests left. I’m not going to say exactly how many because I’m not sure,” he said.
“But I will certainly keep returning to the country long after I hang up my boots for climbing Everest.”
He also said the most important thing he has learned is “to be humble”, adding: “The Sherpa team we work with, they are the guys that make it possible.
“The humility that those guys have is unbelievable, and I try to bring a little bit of that home with me after every expedition.
“We do need to respect nature and the power that she has. Because if Mount Everest wants to, she will extinguish life in a click of a finger.
“It is a very dangerous place to be despite all the technology and the experience and the understanding that we have – we are grappling and wrestling with forces of nature.”
Alongside his 16 Everest summits, Mr Cool previously became the first person to complete the Everest triple crown, comprising Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse, in one push without returning to base camp.