85-year-old aiming to be oldest Everest climber dies

He was later bested by Japanese mountaineer Yuichiro Miura, who was 80 when he summited the world's tallest mountain in 2013.

An 85-year-old man who was attempting to regain his title as the oldest person to climb Mount Everest, has died.

Mountaineering official Gyanendra Shrestha, who is at the base camp, said the cause was likely cardiac arrest but he could not elaborate due to a poor telephone connection.

He had left Kathmandu on April 16 to scale the peak, the Himalayan Times reported, citing multiple sources at the Mount Everest base camp, which is more than 5,000 metres above sea level.

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Officials say Min Bahadur Sherchan died at base camp on Saturday.

"My aim is not to break anybody's record, this is not a personal competition between individuals". He said on a GoFundMe page set up to fund his feat that he wanted his latest ascent of Everest to lift "the morale of all people" on Earth, as well as to campaign for "peace" and "protection of [the] Earth".

Sherchan had six great-grandchildren and 17 grandchildren.

May is the best month to climb Everest and there are at least a couple of windows of favorable weather on the summit. Hundreds have been trying to acclimatize before attempting to reach the summit.

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Climbers who had permits for the 2014 season were allowed to receive a free replacement permit until 2019, while climbers with 2015 permits were given only until this year.

This year is particularly crowded as it is the last chance for climbers who were forced off the mountain by the devastating 2015 natural disaster to use their extended permits.

Speed-climber Ueli Steck, of Switzerland, died just last week as he prepared to climb Mount Everest.

The large number of climbers has raised fears of risky traffic jams on the 8848 meter (29,029 foot) slope.

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