79-year-old Japanese oldest climber to scale Mt Lhotse; Sherpa climber missing on Mt Everest

KATHMANDU: Japanese climber Matsumoto Tatsuo, 79, became the oldest person to climb Mt Lhotse (8,516 m), as more than 10 climbers successfully stood atop the world’s fourth highest mountain this morning.

According to liaison officer Gyanendra Shrestha, Matsumoto along with other climbers from Satori Adventures scaled MT Lhotse at around 12:00pm. “Matsumoto has become the oldest person to reach the summit of Mt Lhotse,” he told THT from the Everest base camp.

Rishi Bhandari, Managing Director at Satori Adventures, said that Matsumoto was a part of 14-member expedition led by Canadian woman climber Jette Caroline. “Five expedition members including Matsumoto and six climbing Sherpas made it to the top of Mt Lhotse,” he said.

Born in 1940, Matsumoto had scaled Mt Everest in 2011 and Mt Manaslu in 2012.

Team leader Caroline, Germain Sylvain from Canada, Kuntal Ajit Joisher and Brij Mohan Sharma from India  along with Mingma Tenji Sherpa, Thuktang Sherpa, Pema  Sherpa, Phurbu Kusang Sherpa, Lakpa Tenje Sherpa, Pemba Oingdi Sherpa, Pasang Tendi Sherpa and Phurba Sherpa also stood atop the mountain after they found a fair weather window this morning, he added. “All climbers have been descending to camp III safely,” he said.

Meanwhile, a Sherpa climber went missing above the Camp IV on Mt Everest since yesterday.

According to Mingma Sherpa, Company Director at Seven Summit Treks, Lama Babu Sherpa of Solukhumbu made last contact from the south summit above 8,000m yesterday. “Since then, he is still out of contact,” he said, adding that fellow climbers would search for him once they head for summit pushes tomorrow.

According to liaison officer Gyanendra Shrestha, bad weather condition barred the world climbers from making their final summit pushes on Mt Everest today. “If weather allows, the climbers, who have already reached Camp IV, will attempt to climb the mountain tomorrow,” he said.

At least 39 climbers including 18 foreigners reached the summit yesterday after eight Sherpas opened the route to the top of the world on Sunday.