70 is the new 50…it's never too late for Everest!
As the highest peak on the planet continues to bring out the best and worst in those brave enough to face her, grazing the previous eldest climber's record by a year is 71 year old Katsusuke Yanagisawa who peaked the 29,035-footer on May 22nd.
Mr. Yanagisawa's ascent took place from the Tibetan side of Everest with a team of Japanese and New Zealanders. He said it was a lot more difficult than he expected, especially with regards to acclimatization.
Overwhelmed by the reality of his achievement, Mr. Yanagisawa bathed in his accomplishment for a full 30min on the peak. "I was glad to reach the summit because, after that, all that was left was to climb down.""I didn't think I would make it...no more high mountains," he said. After which he is reported to have added that he plans on another summit of Everest as soon as next year
Mr. Yanagisawa, a retired schoolteacher, continues the trend of Japanese Everest 'firsts' after Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach summit in 1975.
Japan is said to sport the largest amount of senior citizens in the world taking to climbing in retirement.