Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Oldest Man to Climb Mount Everest is Min Bahadur Sherchan


What do you do in your late 70s? Most people are taking it easy at home.
But a 77 year old Nepalese climbed the highest peak of the world, Mount Everest.
He became the Guinness Book of Records holder for the oldest person to reach the summit.
Rajan Parajuli spoke with the courageous Min Sherchan at his home.

A five feet tall man with a wrinkled face walks with the support of a cane and his hearing is poor.
It’s hard to believe that this is the same man who one year ago climbed to the height of 29 thousand feet.
But he has proof - a photo in his living room.
"That's the top of Everest. The friend in the left is from Australia. And at the right, he is my tour guide. That's me in the middle. We reached the top together. When I looked down there were only white, shiny clouds and small snow covered mountains. There was nothing at that height except sun and sky. At that moment, I felt like I was on the top of the world.”
He was 77 years old.
He proudly shows  his certificate from Guinness World Records, where it is written in bold letters "The oldest Man to climb Mount Everest is Min Bahadur Sherchan".
He doesn’t read English. But he knows that his name is on the 96th page of the Guinness World Record Annual Book of 2010.
It’s an achievement he has dreamt about for the last fifty years.
When he was 72 he started fitness training and went to the doctor.
"Doctors said my  body couldn't bear the height of more than 3000 meters and I mustn't try to. It was written in the medical certificate. When I objected they said Health equipment never lies. But I was not convinced. Just to prove them wrong, I climbed the 5000 meter peak immediately."
Climbing Everest is not an easy task. Only 3000 people have reached the top to date and 200 have died trying.

His family say Min Bahadur is very stubborn and proud. His wife Purna Kumari says she was always against his plan.
"Sometimes I feel like throwing all his certificates, photos and honors out of the house. He didn't listen to me. I found out about his Everest expedition after he left Kathmandu. What’s the point of risking your life at his age just for a name in a book? If he died on the trek, who would have taken care of us?"
"My wife loves me a lot. If I told my family, she would never have allowed me to go. I know I am stupid. My stupidity gives me power. On the way to Everest, I saw a young girl die from Jaundice. My friends and tour guide thought I would be frightened. But I was not. You see I am planning to climb Everest again at the age of 84!"
All the best for this old man with young power! Jai Nepal


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