Sherchan, 85, dies on Everest during world record bid

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Initial reports suggest he had a heart attack. He was pronounced dead at 5:14pm on Saturday

May 7, 2017-Min Bahadur Sherchan, 85, who was in his bid to reclaim his title as the world’s oldest person to scale Mt Everest, died at the base camp on Saturday.

“He was found unconscious in a toilet. The exact reason of his death is yet to be ascertained,” said  Shiva Raj Thapa, managing director of Summit Nepal Trekking that is handling the octogenarian’s Everest bid. “He was then examined by doctors of a British Army expedition team.” Sherchan was pronounced dead at 5:14pm.  Initial reports suggest that he had suffered a heart attack. 

Sherchan, a former British Gurkha, first made a historic climb in 2008 at the age of 76 to become the oldest person atop the world’s highest mountain. But five years later, Sherchan lost the title to Japanese mountaineer Yuichiro Miura who summited the 8,848-metre peak at the age of 80 in 2013. 

Born on June 20, 1931 at Bhurung-9 in Myagdi district, Sherchan during a recent press conference in the Capital in the run-up to his Everest expedition had said he would “return and certainly return” after climbing the mountain. 

According to his expedition handler, Sherchan had not suffered any kind of problem throughout his journey to the 5,380 metres base camp. He left Kathmandu on April 1 to head for the base camp. “Everything was fine when we spoke to him this afternoon. He had said ‘no problem’ at all,” said Thapa. 

Sherchan’s death is the second casualty of this climbing season on Everest, which runs from late April to the end of May. Legendary Swiss climber Ueli Steck died on April 30 when he fell from a steep ridge during an acclimatisation climb. 

Hundreds of climbers have reached the Everest region over the past weeks to acclimatise before starting their journey to the top of the world. As many as 800 people, including climbing guides, will be trying to climb Everest during the narrow window of a good weather which is usually seen in mid-May. 

More than 4,000 people have scaled Mt Everest since 1953 when Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first to reach the top of the world. Over 280 climbers have died attempting the feat. Everest this year is bracing for a traffic jam like situation as this is the last chance for those climbers who were forced to turn back in 2015 after the devastating earthquake on April 25 that triggered an avalanche killing 19 Nepali guides.

 

Min Bahadur Sherchan

2008: Min Bahadur Sherchan made his historic climb at the age of 76 to become the oldest person to scale the world’s highest mountain 2013: Sherchan lost the record to Japanese mountaineer Yuichiro Miura who summited the 8,848-metre peak at the age of 80 2013: When Miura scaled Mt Everest in 2013, Sherchan was also preparing to reach the summit but he missed the narrow window of good weather due to delayed paperwork 2015: Sherchan was on his way to Everest when a devastating quake hit the country, killing nearly 9,000 people including 18 in an avalanche that hit the mountain’s base camp; he was forced to turn back

2016: He could not attempt after he failed to collect enough money to climb Everest

May 6, 2017: Sherchan in his quest to take back the title this season died at base camp at around 5:14pm

Published: 07-05-2017 07:45

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