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July 10, 2013 at 7:39 AM

Man sets age record summiting McKinley

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 78-year-old Anchorage man has become the oldest person to reach the top of Mount McKinley.

Tom Choate reached the summit of North America’s tallest peak June 28.

The Anchorage Daily News reports the previous oldest person to reach the 20,320-foot summit was 76-year-old Japanese climber Michio Kumamoto.

Choate is a retired biology professor and climbing veteran.

He first climbed the mountain in 1963 and he returned in 1983, 1993, 2003 and this year, reaching the summit in five different decades.

Speaking by phone from Talkeetna, Choate says he climbed with an artificial hip implanted last year.

He says weather delayed reaching the summit, including a freak electrical storm 700 feet from the top. Storms also delayed his party’s descent.

Comments | More in General news | Topics: Alaska, Mount McKinley, oldest climber

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