OLDEST MAN TO CLIMB MOUNT KILIMANJARO

The oldest man to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is Richard Byerley (USA, b. 26 Mar 1927), who reached the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, aged 84 years 71 days, on 6 October 2011.

The farmer from Washington, USA, began scaling the mountain on 2 October 2011 at noon through Machame Route, accompanied by his grand children, Bren, aged 24, and Annie, aged 29, who also conquered Kilimanjaro, and reached Africa’s highest peak on 6 October 2011 at 6:15 a.m.

Kilimanjaro, elevation 19,340 feet, is in northeastern Tanzania near Kenya.

Byerley didn’t suffer any altitude sickness on his journey, but he did say his hands were cold when he reached the summit. Byerley spends time between Sun Valley and Walla Walla, Wash., where he owns an alfalfa farm.

He trained for the climb by hiking mountains in both Washington and Idaho, bicycling, running and occasionally moving 40-foot pipes in the fields on his farm.

The active octogenarian is more fit than most people half his age. He has scaled both Mount Whitney in California (the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states, at 14,495 feet) and Mount Rainier, which stands at 14,411 feet.

Byerley has skied for 44 years, which he took up at age 40. In 2001, he biked acoss the U.S. on a 45-day trip that started in Carlsbad, Calif., and ended in Saint Simons Island in Georgia. (He was the oldest person on that trip at age 74).

His wife Beth had summited Kilimanjaro 30 years ago, so Byerley figured “It was high time to catch up.”

When asked how he felt about smashing a world climbing record at age 84, he said, “Well, I’m the same person I was before I left.”

His advice for anyone of any age who wishes to climb a mountain: “Just go.”

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