Kenton Cool Notches 16th Everest Summit; Plus Sunday News from Everest and Lhotse

British guide Kenton Cool and his client Rebecca Louise Smith summited Everest this morning. It was Cool’s 16th time on top of the world.

With this summit, Cool surpasses American guide David Hahn for the most Everest climbs by a non-Sherpa. Between 1994 and 2013, Hahn summited Everest 15 times. Kami Rita Sherpa is still far ahead of everyone else. Last week, he summited Everest for the 26th time.

Kami Rita Sherpa.


Cool first climbed Everest in 2004. From then until 2013, he summited the peak every year, followed by also other successful Everest climbs in 2016, 2018, 2019, 2021, and now. In 2007, he topped out twice, a week apart.

Typical for guides, both Cool and Hahn used supplementary oxygen on their ascents to be able to do their work better.

A guide who loves his job. Photo: Kenton Cool


Other peaks

Besides his work as a guide, Cool has made several impressive independent climbs. In 2003, he made the first ascent of the Southwest Ridge of Annapurna 3 (7,555m). His 1997 attempt on Sani Pakush in the Karakorum with Andy Benson, Rich Cross, and A. Powell and his climb of the Arwa Group, in Uttarakhand in northern India also stand out.

Photo: Kenton Cool.


He was also the first Brit to do the highly technical Moonflower Buttress route on Mount Hunter, Alaska.

Nuptse. Photo: Tom Mosdale


In 2013, Cool climbed Everest and Lhotse in a single push. At the same time, he tried to climb Nuptse without returning to Base Camp. Although he reached virtually the same height as the summit, an insecure cornice prevented him from completing the triple.

Photo: Kenton Cool


Cool hosts a popular podcast called Cool Conversations, in which he shares his experiences and invites people to chat. He married in 2008 and is the father of two children.

Everest Camp 1. Photo: Kenton Cool


Other Everest marks

Ang Rita Sherpa has climbed Everest the most without supplementary oxygen, an astonishing nine times. Notable among westerners, Anatoli Boukreev went three times without O2, and Reinhold Messner twice. In 1978, Messner and his partner Peter Habeler became the first to do it without. Two years later, Messner soloed Everest for the first time, also without O2.

Everest. Photo: Kenton Cool


New summiters

Currently, the full moon is helping light the way for climbers on their summit pushes. This morning, outfitters brought news of fresh summits. 8K Expeditions led one group successfully up Everest and another up Lhotse. Teams from Peak Promotions and Seven Summit Treks have also summited Lhotse.

Chhepal Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks on the summit of Lhotse. Photo: Chhepal Sherpa


Sheroze Kashif is currently at about 7,400m and pushing for the summit of Lhotse.

The last we heard from Abdul Joshi, he was at Camp 3 on Everest. This morning, Carlos Canellas of Brazil was also at Camp 3. He is trying to summit without O2.

More summits are expected on both mountains this weekend and in the days ahead. According to Everest Chronicle, Mount Everest has recorded more than 350 ascents in the past week, thanks to the good weather window. This includes 135 clients and 215 guides.

All but a few have used supplemental oxygen and the support of at least one personal Sherpa. Some have two or three Sherpas accompanying them.

According to The Himalayan Database, as of 2021, Everest had 10,656 summits, and only 217 of these did not involve the use of bottled O2. Not counting this season, Lhotse has had 933 total ascents, including 183 without O2.

The Pioneer Adventure team on top of Everest yesterday. Photo: Pioneer Adventure

Kris Annapurna

KrisAnnapurna is a writer with ExplorersWeb.

Kris has been writing about history and tales in alpinism, news, mountaineering, and news updates in the Himalaya, Karakoram, etc., for the past year with ExplorersWeb. Prior to that, Kris worked as a real estate agent, interpreter, and translator in criminal law. Now based in Madrid, Spain, she was born and raised in Hungary.