Mon, May 08, 2017 - Page 10 News List

Man dies trying to become oldest Everest climber

AP, KATHMANDU

Min Bahadur Sherchan smiles on his arrival in Kathmandu on May 31, 2008, after becoming the world’s oldest person to climb Mount Everest.

Photo: AP

An 85-year-old Nepalese man has died while attempting to regain his title as the oldest person to climb Mount Everest, officials said.

Min Bahadur Sherchan died at Everest Base Camp on Saturday evening. The cause of death was not immediately clear, but mountaineering official Gyanendra Shrestha, who is at Base Camp, said he likely suffered cardiac arrest.

Shrestha could not elaborate due to a poor telephone connection.

Sherchan, a grandfather of 17 and great-grandfather of six, first scaled Everest in May 2008 when he was 76 — at the time becoming the oldest climber to reach the top.

His record was broken in 2013 by 80-year-old Japanese Yuichiro Miura.

Before leaving for the mountain last month, Sherchan told The Associated Press that once he had completed the climb and became famous, he intended to travel to conflict areas to spread a message of peace.

He had trained for months before the attempt, saying that he did not suffer from any respiratory problems and his blood pressure was normal.

Being born in the mountains, he said he had did not have any problems with high altitude or the low levels of oxygen there.

Sherchan’s love of mountaineering began in 1960 when he was assigned by the Nepalese government to be a liaison officer for the Swiss team climbing Mount Dhaulagiri in Nepal.

He later became an apple farmer and constructed roads and dams before settling down to run hotels in Kathmandu.

A record number of climbers are hoping to scale the 8,850m mountain in May and June, the best months for climbing Everest.

The Nepalese Department of Tourism has issued 371 permits this year.

A renowned Swiss climber, Ueli Steck, who was training to scale Everest, was killed on Sunday last week.

The 2015 season was scrapped after 19 climbers were killed and 61 injured by an avalanche at Base Camp triggered by a massive earthquake.

In 2014, an avalanche at the Khumbu Icefall killed 16 Sherpa guides.

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