Mumbai: Apa Sherpa, a 21-time climber of Mount Everest, on Saturday said he will not be attempting to scale the world's highest peak henceforth and will devote time towards maintaining environment around the revered Himalayan mountain.

"From next year onwards, I will go till the base camp, educate other climbers about the importance of preserving the ecology in the region and how climate change is affecting Everest...no more summits," the climber said.

Sherpa, who is in the city to participate in the 10th 'Girimitra Sammelan' (mountaineers' meet), first reached the summit of the 29,029 feet high Mt Everest in 1990 and has been consistently climbing the peak ever since and holds the Guinness World Record for most number of ascents.

"Till the 16th time, I climbed for my family, to earn through the expeditions. The last five climbs have been to spread awareness about the ecological imbalance and collecting waste lying on the route," the 51-year-old said.

Sherpa, who got pushed into becoming a porter for mountaineering expeditions following the death of his father when he was 12 and graduated to being a climber, said signs of climatic changes are very evident on the way to the summit.

He recalls how a 40-metre hard rock face just below the summit has now become 120-metre tall as the ice has weared-off with the increase in temperatures.

Internationally, a lot of efforts like Eco Everest initiative have been on to save the local ecology, Sherpa said, adding that he will join them.

(Agencies)