April 18, 2011

NEPAL: 'I want to prove that elderly people like me can scale Mt. Everest," says 82-year old

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SINGAPORE  / The Straits Times / Breaking News / Asia / April 18, 2011

Nepal ex-minister, 82, aims to scale Everest

Shailendra Kumar Upadhyaya, who served as Nepal's foreign minister and permanent UN representative in the 1970s and 1980s, said he aimed to raise awareness about the capabilities of elderly people by climbing Mount Everest. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KATHMANDU - AN 82-YEAR-OLD former Nepalese minister has set off for Mount Everest in an attempt to set the record as the oldest person to scale the world's highest peak, organisers said on Monday.

Shailendra Kumar Upadhyaya, who served as Nepal's foreign minister and permanent UN representative in the 1970s and 1980s, said he aimed to raise awareness about the capabilities of elderly people by climbing Mount Everest.

'Mountaineering is often associated with physical strength. But you have to be mentally strong to accomplish this climb,' Mr Upadhyaya said.

'I want to prove that elderly people like me are capable of such achievements,' the silver-haired octogenarian said in Kathmandu ahead of his departure for the 8,848m mountain.

Mr Upadhyaya will be accompanied by five guides and sherpas in his attempt to make the gruelling ascent.

'When I said I would climb Everest, people did not believe me. But I'm well prepared to reach the summit,' he told reporters at the weekend. -- AFP

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