A Nepalese man’s bid to regain his title as the oldest person to climb Mount Everest came to a fatal end while attempting the feat.
Min Bahadur Sherchan, 85, passed away on Saturday at the Everest base camp, according to the Associated Press. In the report, Nepal’s Tourism Department chief Dinesh Bhattarai revealed that the cause of Sherchan’s death was not immediately known. It was speculated, however, that the octogenarian mountaineer may have suffered cardiac arrest, as suggested by a mountaineering official present at the base camp.
Back in 1960, the government of Nepal assigned Sherchan to be a liaison officer for the Swiss team climbing Mount Dhaulagiri, sparking his passion for mountaineering. Sherchan would later become the oldest climber to reach the top of the world’s highest peak when he first scaled Everest in May 2008 at age 76. The grandfather of 17 held his record for about five years until 80-year-old Japanese Yuichiro Miura also reached Everest’s top in 2013.
Sherchan revealed to the Associated Press just before embarking on his quest that he intends to use his fame brought about his accomplishment in spreading a message of peace in conflict areas. After training for months, he confirmed that his blood pressure and respiratory system were all normal. Sherchan, who grew up in the mountains, claimed that high altitude or the low levels of oxygen didn’t pose a problem for him.