KATHMANDU, Nepal–Former Foreign Minister Shailendra Kumar Upadhyay passed away along the slopes of Mt Everest on Monday leaving incomplete dream to become the oldest man to scale the World’s tallest peak. He was 81.
Upadhyay was returning from Camp 1 (5,700 meters) to the Base Camp (5,360 meters) when he suddenly fell ill and passed away, the government official confirmed.
An octogenarian politician and human rights activist, Upadhyay was planning to set the record as the oldest Everester.
Nepali climber Min Bahadur Sherchan holds the record of the oldest man to climb the mountain. Sherchan climbed Mt. Everest on May 25, 2008 when he was 76 years and 340 days old.
Born on September 17, 1929, Upadhyay had prepared for three years for the attempt. As part of the preparation, he successfully climbed the 6,189-meter Island Peak and the 6,480-meter Mera peak, apart from sticking to a strict fitness regime.
Upadhyay flew to Lukla in mid-April and had planned to reach the top between May 17 and May 25. Upadhyay served as Nepal’s foreign minister from 1986-90 and was the country’s representative to the United Nations from 1972-78.