An 85-year-old Nepali man attempting to become the oldest to climb Mount Everest died at the base camp on Saturday, a hiking official said, the second climber to die in a week while preparing to climb the world’s highest mountain.
Min Bahadur Sherchan was on way to the 29,035-feet Everest Summit to claim the oldest climber’s record now held by 80-year-old Yuichiro Miura of Japan, who climbed in 2013.
“Sherchan died of apparent heart attack,” said Ang Tshering Sherpa, chief of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.
Department of Tourism official Dinesh Bhattarai confirmed the death, but could not give details, citing poor communication with the base camp.
Nepal does not allow climbers below 16 to go to Everest, but has fixed no upper age limit.
“He is determined on the principle of DO or DIE for the accomplishment of this bravest feat,” according to a GoFundMe campaign for Sherchan’s attempt.
Sherchan is quoted on the page as saying he wanted to climb Mount Everest “for the morale of all people living in this earth” and “for protection of earth for all humankind and peace keeping in the world.”
Famed Swiss climber Ueli Steck died in the Everest region early this week after falling to the foot of Mount Nuptse, a smaller peak in the area, said Mingma Sherpa of the Seven Summits Treks company that organized Steck’s expedition.
Steck, 40, was in the area acclimatizing ahead of a bid to climb Everest through the less-climbed West Ridge route and traverse to Lhotse, the world’s fourth highest peak at 27,940 feet this month.
Kamal Prasad Parajuli, an official with Nepal’s Department of Tourism, confirmed Steck died while climbing Nuptse and that he had planned to attempt an Everest ascent.
He said Steck, who climbed Everest in 2012, “slipped and fell 1,000 meters” in the Western Cwm along the normal route to Everest. The incident took place near the route’s Camp Two, which is located at an altitude of 21,000 feet, Parajuli said.
Nepal has cleared 371 mountaineers to climb Mount Everest during the current season, which ends this month.
Metro web producer Nikki M. Mascali contributed to this story.