It has been 63 years since man first set foot on the top of Mount Everest. On 29th May 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa became the first people ever to summit the 8,848 meters high giant. And as soon as we stopped being thrilled, we have an 85 year old man preparing to set a world record as the oldest man ever to summit Everest.
In the span of 63 years, people have made all sorts of records in the Everest – climbing without oxygen, climbing twice in the same season, spending 21 hours on the top without oxygen, getting married on the top, and so on.
Minbahadur Sherchan, 85, is a resident of Myagdi, Nepal and a retired British Gurkha soldier. At an age where most people hesitate to climb stairs, he is preparing for the unthinkable –ascending to the top of Mount Everest. In fact, he would have already started his expedition if the April earthquake last year had not ruined his plans. But now he is preparing to reclaim his position as the World’s oldest person to summit the Everest. He was in fact the record holder in Guinness Book for climbing Everest at the age of 78 – which was broken by 80 year old Yuichiro Miura of Japan, which Minbahadur now wants to claim back. When he will make the climb is a good question as he is still preparing, but we expect it around March to May, as it is considered the best time for the expedition.
His home town fellows and U.K counterparts are already on the process to raise funding for his campaign, and appear optimistic that Minbahadur will successfully reclaim his position in the Guinness World Record as the world’s oldest Everest climber.
It is estimated that around 1,000 people attempt Everest each year and half of them climb further to the summit. This number does not include people traveling only up to the Everest Base Camp; and the death toll is around 4.4 people each year. Everest climbing is an extreme adventure and requires hard work and training. Even though not all visitors are entertained by its unpredictable weather tantrums, people summit it and immortalize their names as they do it. As to the reason why people climb Everest, the answer is as simple as George Leigh Mallory said, “Because it’s there”.
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