67-year-old climber returns from Everest

MONDAY, MAY 11, 2009, 12:38 P.M.

One of two Spokane seniors attempting to become the oldest U.S. citizen to climb 29,035-foot Mount Everest returned to Spokane on Sunday after coming up short on his goal.

Dave Remington, 67, said his body wouldn’t acclimate properly to high altitudes even though at lower elevations he’s proved his fitness level in some of the country’s nastiest ultramarathons.

Meantime, 66-year-old Dawes Eddy of Spokane is still on Everest with a good shot at making the summit, possibly this week if the weather clears, Remington said.

“I reached 22,100 feet and my body ran out of ability to process oxygen,” Remington said Monday. He said he was requiring five breaths for every step at that elevation even though his resting pulse rate stayed in the 50s.

“I was just too slow to safely continue up,” he said. “Yet I was very fit and fast when I was lower going back and forth from 14,000 feet to 17,000. My guide said I couldn’t have been in better shape.”

Remington said he returned with no regrets.

“I’m very pleased to reach 22,100 feet on the mountain, and the Western Cwm is absolutely spectacular. The scale is hard to communicate. Pictures can’t do it justice. You have to be there.”

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