Japanese breaks record of oldest female to scale Mt. Qomolangma

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A 73-year-old Japanese woman climbed Mt. Qomolangma on Saturday morning, breaking her own record of the oldest woman to scale the world's highest peak.

Tamae Watanabe reached the 8,848-meter peak to smash her own record set in 2002 at the age of 63.

Chairman of the Asian Trekking Ang Tshering Sherpa, who organized the expedition, was quoted by Sunday's The Kathmandu Post as saying Watanabe along with four others launched her ascent from China's Tibetan side of the mountain and achieved the feat Saturday morning.

"She is healthy and coming back to the base camp. It would take her one week to arrive in Kathmandu," Sherpa told the daily. A retired manager of a local high school, Watanabe later became a guide to natural history at Fuji.

Along with Watanabe's team, around 36 mountaineers had started making the final push towards the summit of Qomolangma on Thursday night.

The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation has issued climbing permits to 32 teams comprising 337 climbers, including 325 foreigners for this spring.

The royalty for climbing Qomolangma ranges from 15,000 U.S. dollars to 70,000 dollars per expedition, depending on the number of expedition members (maximum seven) and the route. For an expedition having a maximum of 15 members, a fee of 10,000 dollars per person is charged.

More than 3,000 climbers have scaled Qomolangma since it was first conquered by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Sherpa in 1953, according to official data.

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