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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 May 2007, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Japanese 'oldest man on Everest'
Katsusuke Yanagisawa, foreground, climbs towards the summit of Mount Everest
Mr Yanagisawa has to file paperwork to officially claim the record
A 71-year-old man from Japan has reportedly become the oldest person to climb to the summit of Mount Everest.

Retired teacher Katsusuke Yanagisawa scaled the 8,850m (29,035ft) Himalayan peak, breaking the record set by a 70-year-old Japanese man in May 2006.

"I was pretty much at ease mentally at the summit, like I could sing a song," he told a Japanese TV station.

Mr Yanagisawa said he climbed the Tibetan side of the peak with a team including New Zealanders and Japanese.

"I was glad to reach the summit because, after that, all that was left was to climb down," he told a Japanese newspaper, adding that he spent 30 minutes at the top.

'My next dream'

He was inspired to attempt the climb, after scaling Mount Cho Oyu, the world's sixth highest mountain, which lies about 20km west of Mount Everest.

Katsusuke Yanagisawa, the oldest man to scale Mount Everest
He was inspired to climb Everest after glimpsing it from Mt Cho Oyu
"It was my dream to climb Cho Oyu, a peak which was higher than 8,000 metres, when I reached the age 70," Mr Yanagisawa told Associated Press news agency.

From the summit of Cho Oyu, he caught a glimpse of Everest. "I found my next dream," he said.

Mr Yanagisawa reached Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, on Monday and is expected to file the paperwork needed to officially claim his record.

If confirmed, he will be the third Japanese person in a row to set a record as the oldest person to conquer Everest.

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