Super Septuagenarian: Oldest Man to Ever Climb Everest

A Japanese 71-year-old has become the oldest person to climb Mount Everest.

May 29, 2007— -- A 71-year-old Japanese man has become the world's oldest person to climb Mount Everest, topping a feat set by a compatriot last year

. Former school teacher Katsusuke Yanagisawa reached the summit last Tuesday, a mountain tour group who organised his climb said on Tuesday. It said he climbed from the Tibetan side of the Himalayan peak.

"I feel at ease. I was able to break the record thanks to friends who supported me," Yanagisawa was quoted as saying by Kyodo news agency.

His age would make him the oldest person to have climbed the 8,850 metre (29,035 feet) peak, an official at the Japan Mountaineering Association said.

The list of climbers who have conquered Everest include a blind person, a man with an artificial leg and the youngest, a 16-year-old boy.

The previous record for the oldest climber was a 70-year-old man from eastern Japan who reached the summit in May last year.

Japanese are frequent climbers of Mount Everest. Nearly 2,000 people have climbed the peak and at least 202 have died trying to do so.