A British mountaineer who conquered Everest for a 12th time has said he will only stop climbing it when he falls out of love with the peak.
Kenton Cool, 42, last week became one of the first foreigners to reach the mountain’s summit in two years.
Avalanches that followed an earthquake in Nepal made conditions treacherous, claiming the lives of at least 18 climbers last year.
“She’s a beautiful mountain,” Mr Cool said.
Mr Cool made it to the top with fellow adventurers Robert Richard Lucas, Mexican David Liano and three Nepalese guides.
It was his 12th successful climb of the world’s highest peak, and 36-year-old Liano’s sixth.
Speaking after his return, Mr Cool, who lives in Quenington, Gloucestershire, said: “My wife Jazz says that Everest is my mistress and I go back to her every year.
“I do adore the place. She’s a beautiful mountain and I will keep climbing [her] until I fall out of love.”
Growing up in Uxbridge, west London, he told how his family lived in a bungalow with no hot water or flushing toilet.
“My father was unemployed for most of my childhood,” he said.
He started mountaineering while studying at Leeds University, despite being told he would never climb again after falling from a rock face in North Wales and shattering both heel bones.
“Adventure and climbing have really defined who I am and what I stand for,” he said.
“If you truly believe in your dreams then very little can get in the way.”
Mr Cool said the latest ascent – which he completed on 12 May – was the best of all his climbs.
“Every time you go to Everest, it’s slightly different,” he said.
“This time the ascent was amazing, with a cloudless sky. You couldn’t ask for better conditions.
“Every time you go to the mountain you’ve got to approach it in the same manner. You’ve got to be very respectful, you have to be fully prepared.”
The explorer now hopes to climb Everest, along with the the world’s second and third highest peaks – K2 and Kangchenjunge – on a single trip, travelling overland between them by Land Rover.
“Nobody’s ever linked them together.
“A lot of my colleagues are saying it can’t be done.”