June 2, 2021
Fastest Female Climber, Oldest American Return Safely from Everest’s Summit
Last month, during a flurry of pushes to summit Everest, two climbers returned safely after setting records. Tsang Yin-hung, 45, of Hong Kong, set the record for the fastest climb from basecamp to summit by a woman—25 hours, 50 minutes. (The fastest by anyone is just under 11 hours by Lakpa Gelu, a Sherpa guide).
Tsang wasn’t shooting for a record. The strong climber, and schoolteacher back home, was fortunate to pick the perfect time for her ascent. She met almost no climbers heading up to the South Col’s camp, and once past that, faced only descending climbers, with no bottleneck to slow her progress.
“I just feel kind of relief and happy because I am not looking for breaking a record,” she said to the Associated Press. “I feel relieved because I can prove my work to my friends, to my students.”
Arthur Muir (yes, Muir), at 75, became the oldest American to successfully scale the world’s highest peak.
Muir only began mountaineering at age 68. In 2019, he fell off a ladder crossing a crevasse on Everest, injuring his ankle and ending his climb. He returned, two years later, and pulled it off. (The climb, not his ankle).
“I was just surprised when I actually got to there (the summit) but I was too tired to stand up, and in my summit pictures I am sitting down,” he said.
Photo: Creative Commons