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Mount Everest: Nepali Man, 85, Aims to Become Oldest Person to Climb Peak

"I want to be the oldest person to scale Everest again to be an inspiration for humankind," Min Bahadur Sherchan said.
Image: Min Bahadur Sherchan
Nepali mountain climber Min Bahadur Sherchan, 85, who will attempt to climb Everest to become the oldest person to conquer the world's highest mountain, performs yoga in Kathmandu, Nepal April 12, 2017.Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters
/ Source: The Associated Press

Next time you complain you can't do something because you're too old or too tired, think of 85-year-old Min Bahadur Sherchan.

This Nepali man wants to become the oldest person to ever climb Mount Everest.

Sherchan has held the world record before but lost it in 2013. He wants to regain it by scaling the 29,035-foot Himalayan peak — the world's tallest mountain — during a what should be a window of favorable weather next month.

"I want to be the oldest person to scale Everest again to be an inspiration for humankind, a boost for the elderly people and an encouragement for youths," Sherchan told The Associated Press on Wednesday in his home in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu. "It will be a message for everyone that age is no obstacle to achieving their dreams."

A grandfather to 17 and a great-grandfather to six, first climbed Everest in 2008 at the tender age of 76. The record was broken five years later by 80-year-old Japanese climber Yuichiro Miura.

Sherchan has been determined to regain his venerable crown ever since, but according to the AP he has suffered a series of setbacks. He faced financial problems and delays getting a climbing permit in 2013, and in 2015 an earthquake-triggered an avalanche that killed 19 people at Base Camp a day before he reached the site.

"I am confident that I will succeed this time," he told the news agency. "I have no problems that could stop me from climbing Everest and the only problem could be weather."

Born in the mountains, Sherchan has one big advantage over most climbers: He is used to the high-altitude and therefore not susceptible to the sickness that can be fatal for people not acclimated to the thin air and low oxygen levels.

Image: Min Bahadur Sherchan
Min Bahadur Sherchan smiles as he performs yoga in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Wednesday.Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

He said his only fear is the "very dangerous" section between Base Camp and Camp 1, which includes the dreaded Khumbu Icefall, where climbers use aluminum ladders and ropes to navigate around deep crevasses amid tall ice blocks.

According to the AP, Sherchan's love of mountaineering began in 1960 when he was assigned by the Nepalese government as a liaison officer for the Swiss team climbing Mount Dhaulagiri, which is the seventh-highest mountain in the world.

He and his team of six guides and helpers leave for the mountain Sunday.

He said that if he regains his record, he plans to campaign for world peace by traveling to conflict areas like Syria.

"After I become the oldest Everest climber, people will listen to my campaign for world peace," he said.