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Nepal Mountain Focus

More records likely as climbers eye Everest summit

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KATHMANDU, Nepal- 81-year-old Nepali mountaineer Min Bahadur Sherchan and 80-year-old Japanese Yuichiro Miura are set to make an assault on Everest to secure the title of the world’s oldest person to scale the world’s highest peak. Officials said Miura is at Camp 2, while Sherchan has reached the base camp.

Sherchan had scaled Mt Everest on May 25, 2008, at the age of 76 years and 340 days and was officially recognised as the oldest person to climb the mountain by the Guinness World Records in November 2009.

Sherchan had replaced Miura in the Guinness Records. Miura had first climbed the peak in 2003 at the age of 70. He climbed Everest again in May 2008 when he was 75, but this time failed to set a record as he reached the summit a day after Sherchan achieved the feat at 76.

Sudarshan Gautam, a Nepali Canadian, plans to become the first amputee to climb the mountain to spread the message that “disability is not inability”. Gautam, 30, who lost both his hands at the age of in an accident, will climb Everest without the use of prosthetic limbs.

Meanwhile, Phurba Tashi Sherpa made his 20th Everest ascent on May 10, according to Ang Tshiring Sherpa. “He has planned to climb Everest for 21st time in a few days to equalize the world set by Apa Sherpa,” said Ang Tshiring. “And, if things go as planned, Phurba could make his third attempt this season to secure the world record title of the most Everest ascents.”

Apa is the only man in the history to reach the top of the world 21 times. Phurba climbed Everest three times in the 2007 season alone, and twice in 2011.

According to explorersweb.com, Spaniard Carlos Pauner is aiming to summit Everest and accomplish his pursuit of climbing all eight-thousanders without oxygen.

Three Sherpas and a foreigner have lost their lives at Everest so far this climbing season. Fifty-year-old Russian climber Alex Bolotov died last Wednesday in Khumbu icefall at 5600-metre, according to government officials. (With inputs from other media reports)

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