Two 80-year-olds battle to be the oldest to climb Everest

Emma Sleight

When you reach your eighties, you'd probably imagine that your pace of life would slow down a little.

But that's not the case for two octogenarians, who are preparing to go head-to-head in a battle to be the oldest man to summit Mount Everest in Nepal.

81-year-old Min Bahadur Sherchan of Nepal and his 80-year-old rival Yuichiro Miura of Japan are both waiting at Everest Base Camp.

In the next couple of weeks, the two climbers will set out for the 29,029-foot summit.

According to The Times of India, this will be Miura's third climb of Everest. He completed his first climb at the age of 70 in 2003 and is optimistic, despite having heart surgery in January this year and a broken his hip two years ago.

He told the paper: "I am still healthy and strong. I think I have a good chance to reach the summit."

Sherchan is the current record holder, having previously climbed Everest in 2008 at the age of 76.

Apparently he managed to reach the top of the world's tallest peak exactly one day before his Japanese counterpart, who was 75 at the time.

If everything goes as planned, the Sherpa team charged with fixing the ropes up the mountain will complete their work soon, which will clear the way for the commercial climbing squads to begin their ascents once they get a clear weather window.

About 4,000 people have climbed Everest ever since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa reached the summit in 1953.

In 2012, Tamae Watanabe, 73, became the oldest woman to climb the peak.

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