Climbing the Mount Everest is no joke. You have to be well-trained and have a brave heart to conquer a milestone like this one. A lot of people, regardless of how young they had been, had lost their lives when they attempted to summit the mountain. But, there is an exceptionally mindblowing story of a female climber who did the unthinkable and broke her own record. At the age of 73 years old, Tamae Watanabe, a Japanese woman, became the first person to summit the mountain at that age. She is the oldest woman to climb Mount Everest.
Moreover, she is the only successful woman who succeeded in doing so at that age. There is no other person in the world who has surpassed her record.
Watanabe was still the first oldest woman to climb Mount Everest in 2002 when she summited the mountain at the age of 63. However, Her 2012 record is the most remarkable one she set. There are some interesting things about Tamae Watanabe that you might want to know. Read until the end of this article to learn more about her!
Who is Tamae Watanabe?
Tamae Watanabe is a Japanese mountaineer. She was born on 21 November 1938 in Yamanashi Prefecture. Watanabe completed her education at Tsuru University. After having finished college, she started working as a public office employee in Kanagawa Prefecture. She was 28 years old when she discovered her love for the mountains. In the year 1977, she succeeded in climbing Mount McKinley.
Her first climb to a famous mountain like McKinley motivated her to conquer more popular mountains like Mont Blanc, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Aconcagua. Though she retired from her work, her zeal towards mountaineering never really died. And, with determination and a love for mountain climbing, she became the oldest woman to climb Mount Everest in 2002 when she summited the peak. She did not stop there. Watanabe wanted to beat her records even at the age of 73. While it seemed impossible to others, she made it. Her ascent to the peak makes her the oldest woman ever to climb the tallest peak in the world. And it is no surprise that no one has been able to beat her record to this day. Watanabe, hence, became one of the most well-considered names, not once but twice in the mountaineering community.
Tamae Watanabe and her climb to Mount Everest
Tamae Watanabe climbed the 8,848-meter (29,028 feet) Mount Everest at 7 a.m. on a very casual Saturday morning. The journey started at night because it would get extremely windy and unfavorable past morning. She and her three Sherpas climbed the mountain from the northern side it, according to Ang Tshering of the China Tibet Mountaineering Association in Nepal.
It took a whole decade for Tamae to claim back what was already hers. Only this time, she wanted to make sure that she was older and bolder than before. The mountaineer and her team’s condition in and out of the mountain was perfect, and none of them underwent any severe injuries along the way. The climb, whatsover, was not easy in any way. The team has to walk through the mountain all night. While the summit was made on Saturday, the team camped at 8,300 meters (27,225 feet) on Friday before they started off for their climb.
The weather and conditions for climbers in the mountain during May of that year, 2012 were very favorable. There were several climbers who made it to the mountain not only from its northern but also the southern side, according to Nepal’s mountaineering department. Many people had failed to climb Mount Everest, but with the perfect timing, planning, and dedicated willpower, Tamae proved that nothing is impossible.
As for the oldest person to climb Mount Everest, Min Bahadur Sherchan takes the cake. He was 76 years old when he climbed the mountain. Likewise, an 86-year-old man died in the mountain during an attempt to summit it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When did Tamae Watanabe climb Mount Everest?
Tamae Watanabe climbed Mount Everest twice, as the oldest woman in the world, in the years 2002 and 2012.
How old was Tamae Watanabe when she climbed Mount Everest?
Tamae Watanabe was 73 years old when she climbed Mount Everest for the second time. She was 63 years old when she summited the peak for the first time.
Has anyone beaten the record of Tamae Watanabe?
While Min Bahadur Sherchan remains the oldest person to climb Mount Everest, there are no women climbers who have yet to beat the record of Tamae Watanabe.
How many people went with Tamae Watanabe?
Besides herself, there are said to have been three other Sherpas during Tamae Watanabe’s climb to Mount Everest.
Where is Tamae Watanabe now?
After retiring, Watanabe moved back to Japan and is living there. She is 84 years old as of the year 2023.