Japanese Woman Becomes Oldest To Summit Everest

A 73-year-old Japanese woman by the name of Tamae Watanabe extended her record as the oldest female to climb Mt. Everest when she reached the summit for a second time this past weekend. Watanabe first climbed the world’s tallest mountain a decade ago and that previous record has held up until she decided to raise the bar herself.

Climbing with Asian Trekking, Watanabe scaled the 8848-meter (29,029-foot) mountain from the North Side, which falls inside Chinese controlled Tibet. She topped out, along with four other climbers, early Saturday morning after climbing throughout the night. The team spent a brief time enjoying the view from the world’s highest point, before starting their descent back to one of the high camps on the mountain. The following day Watanabe and her teammates all proceeded back down to Base Camp, where they are now preparing to head home after spending nearly two months on the expedition.

As we mentioned over the weekend, Saturday was summit day on Everest and as predicted, the climbers went to the summit in droves. The weather did take a turn for the worse late in the day on Saturday, however, and high winds forced a number of teams to retreat back down the mountain. Most of the remaining climbers are moving into position to take advantage of a second weather window that is expected to open later this week.

Incidentally, the distinction for being the oldest person to climb Everest belongs to Min Bahadur Sherchan, a Nepali man who was 76 years old when he reached the summit back in 2008.

[Photo credit: AP]