75-year-old Chicago man becomes oldest American to scale Mount Everest

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CHICAGO — A retired Chicago attorney became the oldest American to scale Mount Everest.

On Sunday, Arthur Muir, 75, returned safely from the mountain where climbing teams have struggled with bad weather and a coronavirus outbreak. Muir scaled the peak earlier this month, beating the record set by another American, Bill Burke, at age 67.

A climbing accident on Everest in 2019, when Muir hurt his ankle falling off a ladder, did not deter him from attempting to scale the peak again. He began mountaineering late in life, and said he was scared and anxious during his latest adventure.

“You realize how big a mountain it is, how dangerous it is, how many things that could go wrong. Yeah, it makes you nervous, it makes you know some anxiety there and maybe little bit of scared,” Muir told reporters in Kathmandu.

“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.

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

Climbing was closed last year due to the pandemic.

Married and a father of three, Muir has six grandchildren. The last one — a boy — was born while he was still in the mountains during his current expedition.

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

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