Kathmandu, Nepal – Age is just number for this 85-year-old man, Min Bahadur Sherchan, who wants to reclaim the title as the oldest person to scale the 29,035-foot Himalayan peak – the world’s tallest mountain – next month during a window of favorable weather on the summit.
Sherchan first climbed Everest in 2008 at the age of 76, has held the record since but lost it in 2013 to an 80-year-old Japanese climber Yuichiro Miura.
“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 said Wednesday at his home in Kathmandu. “It will be a message for everyone that age is no obstacle to achieving their dreams.”
Sherchan has been determined to reclaim his crown ever since, but he has suffered a series of setbacks. He faced financial problems and delays in securing a climbing permit. He tried again in 2015 but an avalanche triggered by earthquakes killing 19 people forced him to cancel the climb.
“I am confident that I will succeed this time. I have no problems that could stop me from climbing Everest and the only problem could be weather,” Sherchan said. He added that he has no respiratory problems and his blood pressure is normal.
“I am not scared of climbing, but the only part I fear is the part between base camp and Camp 1, which is very dangerous,” Sherchan said.
Sherchan’s passion of mountaineering began in 1960 when he was a Liason officer for a Swiss team that climbed Mount Dhaulagiri.
He then became an apple farmer before settling down to run hotels at Kathmandu.
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.