April 13, 2010

JAPAN: Tokyo woman, 70, seeking to break Everest record this spring

. TOKYO, Japan / The Japan Times Life / April 13, 2010 Kyodo News from Kathmandu, Nepal Four Japanese, including a 70-year-old woman from Tokyo, plan to climb Mount Everest this spring, an official said Monday. Eiko Funahashi, who was unable to scale the 8,848-meter peak in 2006, will make another try in May, said Tilak Pandey, an official in the Nepal government's mountaineering division. Illustrative photo: Japanese climber Junko Tabei, the first woman to summit Mt. Everest in 1975 reacts to eating the local Nepalese spicy food during the festivities at the Hanuman Dhoka Square Festival May 26, 2003 in Kathmandu. Photo credit: LIFE/ Paula Bronstein/Getty Images If successful, Funahashi will be the oldest woman to climb the world's tallest peak, beating the record set by fellow Japanese climber Tame Watanabe, who scaled Everest in 2002 at age 63. Funahashi is among three climbers who will be chasing records on the mountain this season. Nepalese Appa Sherpa, 49, will attempt to beat his own record for the most climbs by a single person. He has scaled Everest 19 times. Thirteen-year-old Jordan Romero of California is seeking to climb the mountain from Tibet to unseat Temba Chiri of Nepal as the youngest person to make it to the top. Chiri climbed the peak at age 16. Three male Japanese — Michihiro Kadoya, 46, Toshihisa Agata, 34, and Hiroyuki Kuraoka, 48 — are also seeking to scale Everest next month. [rc] (C) The Japan Times