Arthur Muir, the retiree who took up mountaineering at 68 and conquers Everest at 753 min read
A 75-year-old retired attorney from Chicago recently became the oldest American to ever conquest Everest, the world’s tallest mountain top.
And the craziest thing is that he had only started mountaineering 7 years prior.
Arthur Muir, a married father of three and grandfather of six (a child in his family was born while he was climbing the mountain), had been fascinated with mountain climbing ever since his father gave him a book about the Himalayas when he was a child, and his passion grew when Barry Bishop, a legendary climber and conqueror of Everest, visited his high-school in 1964.
However, he never followed his dream of picking up mountaineering until a friend convinced him to do so, seven years ago.
And, once he did, he couldn’t stop.
The retiree cut his mountaineering teeth on mountains in South America and Alaska, before finally taking on the ultimate challenge he had been dreaming of his whole life: after starting out on this amazing journey at age 68, in 2019 he set out to conquer Everest.
However, his attempt ended in failure after he injured his ankle after falling down from a ladder during his climb.
Last year Everest was off-limits due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but this year, he made another attempt and got his name into the history books.
“So it’s been this very deliberate progression where I’ve taken on bigger and bigger mountains and finally got to Mount Everest and tried to see what the mountain would give me at my age,” he told.
“Nobody was really sure. By the time I got to the top I was so focused on getting there that I didn’t really absorb what was happening until I got all the way back down to our last camp, Camp Four.”
The oldest person to ever conquer Mount Everest is Japanese mountaineer Yuichiro Miura, who managed the feat in 2013, at age 80.
At age 75, Arthur became the oldest American to ever do it, beating the record set by Bill Burke, who was 72 when he climbed Everest in 2014.
“So I was aware of it, but it wasn’t my main focus. I was actually very concerned about making sure that I had the reserve energy, I had the ability to actually get down safely. I was just surprised when I actually got there, but I was too tired to stand up, my summit picture, I am sitting down.”
Arthur, who started his feat on May 23, he told reporters at the airport in Kathmandu after returning from the mountain it was too early for him to decide his future plans after the Everest achievement, but he is safe he won’t be hanging up his mountaineering boots just yet.
After all, he’s only been at it for seven years!