The Gurkha Everest Expedition team is very sad to announce the death of Mr Minbahadur Sherchan, ex-QG Signals, who died yesterday peacefully at Everest Base Camp, aged 85. He was attempting to reclaim the record of becoming the oldest person to climb Everest, after his first record set at the age of 76, in 2008, was broken by 80-year-old Japanese climber Yuichiro Miura in 2013.
Deputy expedition leader Major Andrew Todd said today, 7 May 2017: "This morning at 06:30 here in Base Camp, our team repatriated Minbahadur Sherchan to Kathmandu. We paid a tribute to a remarkable man with a small service and a two-minute silence before carrying him through Base Camp to the helicopter.
"In the days prior to his death, Minbahadur had spent time with the team here in Base Camp. After our team's first rotation to Camp 3, we asked him his strategy for climbing the mountain. He simply said that he would climb to Camp 1, then to Camps 2, 3 and 4, and then to the summit. We took great strength from his confidence, his approach, but above all his powerful character. A true Gurkha and an astonishing mountaineer. He believed in us and we in him.
"Yesterday, at 17:14, he died very peacefully in our camp and in the arms of Gurkha soldiers from the Everest team. We laid him to rest in a tent on the flanks of the Khumbu Icefall and next to our camp before his repatriation this morning. He was at peace on a mountain that he so loved and among the camaraderie and spirit of Gurkha soldiers.
"As a Gurkha and an Everest summiteer his legacy is indisputable, and in a few days' time, as we make our summit bid, we will do so as a fitting tribute to Minbahadur Sherchan."
Expedition chairman Brigadier Ian Rigden added: "Minbahadur Sherchan was a true inspiration and proof that you can attain bold dreams whatever your age. He was a very brave and determined man, and our thoughts are very much with his family and friends.
"He left this life among the mountains of his beloved Nepal, in the shadow of the mountain that he had conquered, surrounded by fellow mountaineers and friends continuing to inspire others.
"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail — Ralph Waldo Emerson"