Retiree Who Took Up Mountaineering at Age 68 Conquers Everest at 75

A 75-year-old retired attorney from Chicago recently became the oldest American to ever conquest Everest, the world’s tallest mountain top. The craziest thing is that he had only started mountaineering 7 years prior.

Arthur Muir, a married father of three and grandfather of six, had been fascinated with mountain climbing ever since his father gave him a book about the Himalayas when he was a child, and that fascination only 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, but once he did, he couldn’t stop.

Photo: Christopher Burns/Unsplash

Muir, a retired attorney, 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 Arthur Muir set out to conquer Everest, but his attempt ended in failure after he injured his ankle after falling down from a ladder during his climb. Last year, Everest was closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but this year, the pensioner 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,” Muir 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, Muir just 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,” the elderly climber said. “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.”


Although Muir currently has no idea how he’ll top this monumental achievement, it’s safe to say he won’t be hanging up his mountaineering boots just yet. After all, he’s only been at it for seven years.