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A former British Gurkha soldier has died at Everest base camp while attempting to reclaim his title as the oldest person to climb the mountain.

Director General at the Tourism Department Dinesh Bhattarai said that preparations are underway to bring back the body of the deceased mountaineer from Lukla this afternoon. He was on a mission to reclaim his title of the world's oldest climber, which was taken from him by Japanese climber Yuichiro Miura.

In 2015 he was on his way to base camp for another attempt when a devastating natural disaster struck the country, forcing him and many other climbers to abandon their plans.

The cause of Mr Sherchan's death was most likely cardiac arrest, said a mountaineering official at the base camp.

Sherchan, who had 17 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, first scaled the world's highest peak in May 2008 aged 76, becoming the oldest climber to reach the top.

85-year-old aiming to be oldest Everest climber dies

Sherchan's previous attempts to beat Miura in 2013 and 2015 were hampered by weather conditions and the devastating Nepal earthquakes. He said on a GoFundMe page set up to fund his feat that he wanted his latest ascent of Everest to lift "the morale of all people" on Earth, as well as to campaign for "peace" and "protection of [the] Earth".

A renowned Swiss climber, Ueli Steck, who was training to scale Everest, was killed last Sunday.

Almost 750 people are expected to try and climb Everest during the small window of opportunity afforded by the weather.

This year is particularly crowded as it is the last chance for climbers who were forced off the mountain by the devastating 2015 natural disaster to use their extended permits.

Some mountaineers blamed crowding and poor planning for bottlenecks that delayed climbers at high altitudes and possibly contributed to several deaths. This has rasied concerns about risky traffic jams on the mountain.

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