85-Year-Old Aiming to Be Oldest Everest Climber Dies

Mount Everest

Mount Everest

Eighty-five-year-old mountaineer Min Bahadur Sherchan, who previously held the title for world's oldest climber to top Mount Everest, died Saturday while attempting to reclaim the record, the Associated Press reports.

Swiss climber Ueli Steck - one of the most feted mountaineers of his generation - became the first fatality of this year's spring season on Everest when he fell from a ridge during an acclimatisation climb last week.

Sherchan was previously the oldest person to climb Everest, when he did so at the age of 76 in 2008.

However, his record was broken in 2013 by 80-year-old Japanese climber Yuichiro Miura.

Min Bahadur Sherchan died at the base camp on Saturday evening, officials said, with the cause of death not immediately clear.

High winds and snow near the summit on Friday were slowing down the work but the first climb could happen as early as Sunday, said government official Gyanendra Shrestha, who is stationed at base camp.

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Mr Sherchan began climbing in 1960, when he ascended Mount Dhaulagiri, the world's seventh-highest mountain at 8,167m (26,795 ft), the Telegraph newspaper reported.

He was born in the mountains so never had a problem with altitude or low levels of oxygen.

He went on to be an apple farmer and constructed roads and dams before settling to down to manage hotels in Kathmandu.

The Nepalese Tourism Department issued a record 371 permits this year to people to scale the 29,035-foot mountain.

Earlier, Sherchan had made an attempt to scale the Everest in 2015 but could not make it due to the avalanches triggered by the great quake.

The former Gurkha, who had 17 grandchildren had spent months training for his latest bid for the title, which included a morning yoga workout. In 2014, an avalanche at the Khumbu Icefall killed 16 Sherpa guides.

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