70-Year-Old Japanese Man Scales Mount Everest

A mountaineering company said a 70-year-old Japanese man on Wednesday became the oldest person to scale Mount Everest. However, Guinness World Records said it couldn't immediately confirm the claim.

Takao Arayama, age 70 years, 7 months and 13 days, was the oldest person ever to scale the mountain's 29,035-foot peak, according to Toshinori Koya, an official at Tokyo-based Adventure Guides, which planned the climb.

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The Guinness World Records Web site says the record has been held by another Japanese, Yuichiro Miura, who reached the famed peak at the age of 70 years, 7 months and 10 days, on May 22, 2003.

Arayama, who climbed the mountain as part of a five-member team, reached the summit at 10:45 a.m. Nepal time Wednesday morning, Koya said.

He said team leader Kenji Kondo, 43, contacted the company via satellite phone several hours after reaching the peak.

Everest straddles the Nepal-China border. It wasn't immediately clear which side Arayama's team used to scale the mountain.

Arayama, a corporate management consultant from Kamakura, near Tokyo, has now safely descended to a camp lower down on the mountain and is in good health, Koya said.

Kate White, a spokeswoman for London-based Guinness World Records, said Wednesday, "We have not had any report of this record. If he (Arayama) is older, we would look forward to announcing a new Guinness World Record.

In order to do so, she said they would need his birth certificate, photographs, witness statements and a log book of his climb.