Arthur Muir and Tsang Yin-hung return unharmed after becoming America’s oldest woman and fastest on Everest

KATHMANDU, Nepal – A retired Chicago lawyer who became the oldest American to climb Mount Everest, and a teacher from Hong Kong who is now the fastest climber to the world’s highest peak, returned Sunday in all safety of the mountain where the climbing teams struggled. with inclement weather and a coronavirus outbreak.

Arthur Muir, 75, peaked earlier this month, breaking the record set by fellow American Bill Burke at 67.

Tsang Yin-hung, 45, from Hong Kong, climbed the summit from base camp in 25 hours and 50 minutes and became the fastest climber. The 10 hour 56 minute record is held by a Sherpa guide, Lakpa Gelu.

A climbing accident on Everest in 2019, when Muir injured his ankle falling from a ladder, did not stop him from attempting to climb the summit again. He started mountaineering late in life and said he was scared and worried during his latest adventure.

“You realize how a mountain it is, how dangerous it is, how many things can go wrong. Yeah, it makes you nervous, it makes you feel some anxiety there and maybe a little bit. fear, ”Muir told reporters in Kathmandu. .

“I was just surprised when I got there (the top) but I was too tired to get up, and in my photos from the top I’m sitting,” he said.

Muir started mountaineering at 68 with trips to South America and Alaska before attempting Everest in 2019 when he fell off the ladder.

The escalation was closed last year due to the pandemic.

Married with three children, Muir has six grandchildren. The last – a boy – was born while still in the mountains during his current expedition.

Tsang made just two stops between base camp, located at 5,300 meters (17,390 feet), and the 8,849-meter (29,032 feet) summit for a change, and covered the near vertical distance in 25 hours and 50 minutes.

She was lucky because there were hardly any climbers on the way to the highest camp at Col Sud, after that on the way to the top she only encountered climbers making their descent, which did not slow down its rise in speed.

There are only a few days of good weather left on the mountain this year, with hundreds of climbers lining up to the top, many having to wait a long time in traffic jams on the highest trail.

“I just feel relieved and happy because I’m not looking to break a record,” she said. “I feel relieved because I can prove my work to my friends, to my students.”

She made a previous attempt on May 11, but bad weather forced her to turn around from a point very close to the summit. She then returned last Sunday.

“For the top it’s not just your ability, your teamwork, I think luck is very important,” she said.

A coronavirus outbreak among climbers and their guides at Everest base camp has forced at least three teams to cancel their expeditions. But hundreds more have tried to climb to the top, at a time when Nepal is on lockdown to fight its worst wave of COVID-19.

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