82-year old Shailendra Kumar Upadhyaya of Nepal is planning to climb Mt. Everest this spring in an attempt to show that even octogenarians can still be physically fit enough to accomplish such goals. If successful, he’ll become the oldest person to reach the summit of the highest mountain on the planet.
Earlier this week, Upadhayaya set out from Kathmandu on the trek to Everest Base Camp. He is expected to arrive there next week, where he’ll begin the acclimatization process that will prepare him for his high altitude adventure. Once that process is completed, he hopes to make his attempt on the summit sometime in late May or early June, depending on the weather conditions on the mountain. Adding to the challenge is the fact that Upadhayaya, who is a former Nepali Foreign Minister, has little climbing experience
The current record for the oldest person to summit Everest is held by another Nepalese man by the name of Min Bahadur Sherchan. He conquered the mountain back in 2008 at the age of 76. If he is successful, Upadhayaya would best that mark by six years.
Climbing Everest is no easy task at 42, let alone 82. To attempt it with little to no experience seems to be asking for trouble. While it would be a great story to see him make it to the summit, hopefully he will know when to call it quits if things aren’t going well and conditions aren’t right. That said, I hope I’m still as active and adventurous as he is when I reach that age.