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Tamae Watanabe, 73, smashes own record as oldest woman to climb Mount Everest

Tamae Watanabe in a picture from 2004.
Tamae Watanabe in a picture from 2004.Devendra Man Singh / AFP - Getty Images

Updated 1:10 a.m. ET Saturday: Tamae Watanabe, who on May 16, 2002 at the age of 63 years became the oldest woman to climb Mount Everest, smashed her own record on Saturday, reaching the peak of the world's highest mountain at the age of 73, Kyodo news service reported.

Watanabe, a retired office worker, is a veteran climber who has also conquered Mount McKinley, North America's highest mountain, and other top peaks around the world.

She launched her ascent from the Tibetan north side of the mountain, according to EverestNews, which reported she would attempt to reach the peak on Friday.

Watanabe, whose climb to the summit was delayed twice due to erratic weather high on the mountain, was in a "good state of health" after getting to the top, Mainichi Daily News reported. She began the last push to the peak late Friday after weather had eased and reached her goal Saturday morning.

Min Bahadur Sherchan of Nepal is the oldest man to reach the top of Everest at the age of 76 years, 340 days.

Mount Everest stands 29,029 feet above sea level.

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