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Mountaineer says he's at a peak as he nears 50

Khoo Swee Chiow dices with death on each climb but has never felt fitter

Published on Jun 2, 2014 7:46 AM

On the morning of May 23, Singaporean adventurer and mountaineer Khoo Swee Chiow sent the press a terse e-mail. It read: "(I) reached the summit of Makalu 8,463m on 19 May, 6.45am Nepal time. This expedition was very long and tough. One of (my) team members died..."

Behind the brief message lay a reminder. Mr Khoo, 49, who conquered Mount Everest in 1998, dices with death every time he climbs.

This time, 39-year-old Yannick Gagneret did not make it down the mountain, the fifth peak above 8,000m (there are 14 in all) that Mr Khoo has climbed.

The Frenchman, whom Mr Khoo met last year, succumbed to altitude sickness after rejecting advice to descend.

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