70-Year-Old to Climb Everest—Twice

Bill Burke intends to head up both sides
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2012 12:47 PM CDT
In this May 19, 2010 file photo, clouds hover above the world's highest peak Mount Everest, as seen from Syangboche, about 125 kilometers (80 miles) northeast of Katmandu, Nepal.   (AP Photo/ Binod Joshi)

(Newser) – What do you do when you're already the oldest American to ever climb Mount Everest? If you're Bill Burke, you climb it again—and again. The 70-year-old says that he's going to attempt the rare feat of climbing the mountain twice in one season, Reuters reports, scaling first its northern face from Tibet, and then its other side from Nepal. The second journey will trace the same route Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa took in 1953.

"It is going to be very tight climbing both sides in the same season," Burke said. Most hikers avoid the feat because they're likely to be tired for the second climb, and will be under tight time constraints to get down before monsoon rains hit in June.

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