Eighty-six-year-old Min Bahadur Sherchan has a dream - to become the oldest person to conquer the world’s tallest peak, Mount Everest.
Sherchan reached the summit of Everest at the age of 78 in 2010 to enter the Guinness Book of World Records. But 80-year-old Japanese mountaineer Yuichiro Miura broke his record just three years later.
The Gurkha veteran abandoned an attempt to climb the 8,848-metre mountain in 2015 because of a massive earthquake that caused widespread devastation at the base camp of Mt Everest and in other parts of Nepal.
To support Sherchan’s new bid, his well-wishers from his native Myagdi district have created the “Min Bahadur Everest Expedition’ campaign and started seeking national and international support. The supporters also organised a news conference in Kathmandu on Monday to announce his bid.
Sherchan spoke of his commitment to win back the world record. "I may be old in terms of age but I still have young courage. I will reach the peak of Everest come what may," he said.
Jeet Bahadur Gharti Magar, the campaign coordinator, said Sherchan will climb the Everest for world peace, to protect mother Earth and win back the record. The campaign has started collecting funds and there have been calls to waive the royalty for him because of his age.
The adverse impact of climate change has taken a toll on Everest, with experts saying that ice fall on the mountain has been decreasing.
Magar noted that Sherchan had made an attempt to scale Everest, locally known as Sagarmatha, in 2015 but had to turn back because of the earthquake and avalanches.
“Such incidents never disturbed me. I am determined,” the visibly healthy Sherchan said. At least 18 people were killed when an avalanche hit the base camp.
Sociologist Krishna Bhattachan underscored the need for the government to support Sherchan, arguing that his ascend would add to the glory of a Himalayan country such as Nepal.