Japanese pensioner scales Everest

A 73-year-old Japanese mountaineer who became the oldest woman to conquer Mount Everest a decade ago smashed her own record on Saturday, organisers said.

Tamae Watanabe, who set off from Kathmandu early in April and climbed the world's highest peak from the Tibet side, was accompanied by four team members including Japanese mountaineer and photographer Noriyuki Muraguchi.

"This morning at 7:00 am she reached the top. She climbed from the north side and now she is descending," said Ang Tshering Sherpa, of the Kathmandu-based Asian Trekking mountaineering agency.

Watanabe made history when she scaled the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) peak on May 16, 2002, taking the title of world's oldest female Everest summiteer from Poland's Anna Czerwinska.

Min Bahadur Sherchan, from Nepal, is the oldest man to conquer the mountain. He reached the summit in 2008 at the age of 76 years and 340 days.

Around 3,000 people have climbed Everest, which straddles Nepal and China, since it was first conquered by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. Every year hundreds of people set out in April to attempt the climb.

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