British explorer Ranulph Fiennes climbs Everest: charity | world | Hindustan Times
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British explorer Ranulph Fiennes climbs Everest: charity

world Updated: May 21, 2009 10:11 IST

British adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has reached the summit of Everest on his third attempt at conquering the world's highest mountain, a spokeswoman said on Thursday.

The 65-year-old arrived at the top of the 8,848-metre (29,028-foot) Himalayan peak just before midnight GMT on Wednesday, said a spokeswoman for Marie Curie Cancer Care, for whom Fiennes is raising money.

"Sir Ranulph Fiennes reached the summit of Everest shortly before 1:00 am (BST) on Thursday 21 May 2009, completing what he set out to do a year ago, to raise the Marie Curie flag at the peak of the world's highest mountain," said a statement issued by the charity.

He began his latest attempt to climb the mountain three weeks ago, according to the BBC, and now becomes the oldest Briton - and the first British pensioner - to scale the mountain.

Joking about his age, which in Britain brings free travel on some public transport, Fiennes was quoted by the BBC as saying: "It's amazing where you can get with a bus pass these days."

He is hoping to raise three million pounds (4.7 million dollars, 3.4 million euros) for Marie Curie, and said: "I have summited Everest for Marie Curie Cancer Care, which has long been a personal goal."

The spokeswoman said Fiennes had intentionally kept his trip low-profile after two unsuccessful attempts to scale the summit in 2005 and 2008.

"He wanted to do it quietly with no fuss. He only just failed last year - he got to within a short distance of the summit but had to turn back from exhaustion," she said.

"So he decided he wanted to keep it very low-key without all the build-up and media attention of last year."

Fiennes was the first explorer to complete a tour of the world on foot and then sailed between the two poles in 1982 before crossing Antarctica on foot with his long-time adventuring partner Michael Stroud in 1993.

He had a triple heart bypass in 2003 following a heart attack.