85-year-old dies attempting to regain his crown as Everest's oldest conqueror

Min Bahadur Sherchan is thought to have suffered a cardiac arrest

Click to follow
The Independent Online

An 85-year-old great-grandfather has died on Mount Everest while attempting to regain his title as the oldest person to climb the world's highest peak, officials said. 

Min Bahadur Sherchan from Nepal died at Everest base camp on Saturday evening, and while the cause of death was not immediately clear, mountaineering official Gyanendra Shrestha, who is at the base camp, has revealed that he likely suffered cardiac arrest. Shrestha could not elaborate due to a poor telephone connection. 

Sherchan, a grandfather of 17 and great-grandfather to six, first scaled Everest in May 2008 when he was 76 — at the time becoming the oldest climber to reach the top. 

His record was broken in 2013 by 80-year-old Japanese Yuichiro Miura. 

Before leaving for the mountain last month, Sherchan told The Associated Press that once he had completed the climb and became famous, he intended to travel to conflict areas to spread a message of peace. 


Yellow and orange tents at Everest Base Camp (AP)

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

Being born in the mountains, he said he had did not have any problems with high altitude or the low levels of oxygen there. 

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. 

He later became an apple farmer and constructed roads and dams before settling down to run hotels in Kathmandu. 


Mount Everest has seen a record number of climbers in recent months (Picture: Getty)

A record number of climbers are hoping to scale the 8,850-metre (29,035-foot) mountain in May and June, the best months for climbing Everest. The Nepalese Tourism Department has issued 371 permits this year. 

A renowned Swiss climber, Ueli Steck, who was training to scale Everest, was killed last Sunday. 

The 2015 season was scrapped after 19 climbers were killed and 61 injured by an avalanche at the base camp triggered by a massive earthquake. In 2014, an avalanche at the Khumbu Icefall killed 16 Sherpa guides.