Oldest man to scale Everest
Japanese climber Takao Arayama, 70, seen here on Mount Everest in a 17 May 2006 hand-out photo, told reporters he marked the achievement of being the oldest man to scale the mountain, by leaving a photograph of his dog on the summit.
A 70-year-old Japanese climber believed to be the oldest man to scale Everest marked the achievement by leaving a photograph of his dog on the summit.
Takao Arayama, aged 70 years and 225 days when he topped the world's highest mountain last Wednesday, beat the record held by a fellow countryman by just three days.
Arayama, who confessed to suffering headaches and breathing difficulties during the oxygen-aided ascent, said it was a wonderful feeling when he finally reached the top of the 8,848-metre mountain.
"I am very happy to be the oldest man to scale the world's highest peak," the fit-looking and ruddy-cheeked Arayama said on his return to Nepal's capital Kathmandu.
The previous record holder was Yuichiro Miura, a professional skier, who made it to the summit of Everest in May 2003 aged 70 years and 222 days, according to Guinness World Records.
"I stayed for 30 minutes on the top of the mountain and took some pictures and left a picture of my dog, Pacu," Arayama said.
"It was a wonderful feeling. Everything was below me, all the mountains and the world, when I reached the top," he said.
Arayama, a corporate management consultant from Kamakura, south of Tokyo, was part of an 11-person team that included six Nepalese Sherpas and five Japanese climbers.
He first climbed an 800-metre mountain near Tokyo at the age of 12 that inspired him to continue his obsession.
He has scaled 6,194-meter Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America, and tackled the Alps. He only started on Everest when aged in his 60s.