85-year-old aiming to be oldest Everest climber dies

Posted May 07, 2017

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

The increased number of climbers this year is likely because of people who were unable to climb in 2014 and 2015 who have returned, said Dinesh Bhattarai, chief of the Tourism Department, which handles all mountaineering affairs in Nepal. Five years later, however, the title went to Yichiro Miura of Japan, who was 80. Communication problems made it impossible to contact the base.

In May 2008 the then 76-year-old Sherchan became the oldest person to reach Everest's summit.

Sherchan, 85, died on Everest Base Camp after suffering a heart attack as per the initial reports.

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

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Prior to making his most recent attempt, Sherchan said he hoped to use the fame associated with twice holding such a record would help him spread a message of world peace in conflict-torn areas around the globe. As a Sherpa born in the mountains, he did not have any issue with high altitudes or lack of oxygen.

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.

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

May is the best month to climb Everest and there are at least a couple of windows of favorable weather on the summit.