Page last updated at 08:59 GMT, Sunday, 25 May 2008 09:59 UK

Everest record set by 76-year-old

Bahadur Sherchan
Mr Sherchan said he wanted to inspire fellow senior citizens

A 76-year-old Nepalese man has become the oldest person to climb Mount Everest, according to officials.

A tourism ministry spokesman said Bahadur Sherchan reached the summit on Sunday morning in good health and was set to return to base camp on Monday.

Climbers have been flocking to the mountain since ascents were temporarily halted because of security concerns over the Olympic torch relay.

On Thursday, a record 86 mountaineers reached the 8,850m (29,035ft) summit.

Good weather has also meant favourable climbing conditions.

Also on Thursday, another Nepalese man, 47-year-old Appa Sherpa, broke his own record for the most ascents after climbing the mountain for the 18th time.

'Clean energy'

Mr Sherchan, who is just days short of his 77th birthday, beat a record set last year by 71-year-old Japanese teacher Katsusuke Yanagisawa.

In a message on a website for the 2008 senior citizens' Everest expedition, the veteran climber said he wanted to inspire his fellow Nepalese pensioners to look for a better life.

"I have vigorosity [sic] inside me and inside my life-philosophy," Mr Sherchan said.

"...I have commenced the great mission with a great vision in a great season (spring season) to fight against the mighty Mount Everest with my will-power of mind and clean energy of my heart."

Nearly 2,500 people have reached the summit of Everest since it was first climbed by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953.

There have been more than 200 deaths on the mountain.

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