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File photo shows Nepali mountain climber Min Bahadur Sherchan, 85, who will attempt to climb Everest to become the oldest person to conquer the world's highest mountain, performs yoga in Kathmandu, Nepal April 12, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]
KATHMANDU, Nepal - Family and supporters on Sunday honored an 85-year-old Nepali man who died trying to regain his title as the oldest person to climb Qomolangma (known in the West as Mount Everest), while officials stressed the need to limit the age for such a daunting physical challenge.
The death of Min Bahadur Sherchan has revived concerns about allowing elderly people to attempt to scale high peaks.
Nepali law requires Qomolangma climbers to be at least 16 but there's no upper age limit.
"It is very necessary to immediately bring that age limit law. If there had been a limit, the loss of life could have been prevented," said Ang Tshering, head of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.
The association is planning to push the government to limit the age of climbers to at least 76, he said.
Sherchan died on Saturday evening at Qomolangma base camp. Another Nepali man, Shailendra Kumar Upadhyaya, died in 2011 at age 82 while attempting to scale the mountain.
Dinesh Bhattarai, who heads the Tourism Department, said that the government is seriously discussing an upper age limit.
Sherchan's body was flown by helicopter to Kathmandu on Sunday. The cause of death was still unclear and the autopsy result will be available in a few days.
Sherchan had first scaled Qomolangma in May 2008 when he was 76 at the time becoming the oldest climber to reach the top. But his record was broken in 2013 by 80-year-old Japanese Yuichiro Miura.
Meanwhile, a South African attempting to climb Qomolangma alone and without a permit has been ordered off the mountain, had his passport confiscated and will be fined $22,000, an official said on Monday.
Ryan Sean Davy, 43, told officials at base camp that he had climbed alone as far as camp two - 6,400 meters - to acclimatize ahead of a summit push before he was caught.
Foreigners have to pay the Nepal government $11,000 for permission to climb the 8,848-meter peak.
AP - AFP
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