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The Star Online > News
Sunday, January 19, 2003

Senior citizen who spends his time climbing mountains


Team work: Cheah (left), Toh and Lim with their certificates from the Malaysia Book of Records.
KUALA LUMPUR: Many people subscribe to the belief that age should not be a barrier to anything, but retired consultant engineer A.S. Toh lives life in a way that puts those half his age to shame. 

Unlike a lot of senior citizens who are only interested in taking things easy, Toh, 62, has made mountain climbing one of his major pastimes during retirement. 

In 2000, he scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The following year, he trekked the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. 

And in September last year, he managed to make it up to 5,807m on the seldom-scaled North Face of Mount Everest in Tibet, China.  

His effort earned him an entry in the Malaysia Book of Records for being the oldest person to trek the North Face. 

“I guess you could say that I like adventure sports,” he said on Friday after receiving a certificate recognising his efforts from the Malaysia Book of Records

That was not the only award for Toh, who also scuba dives and plays golf. 

His team, which included information technology consultant Cheah Kok Chew, 48, project management consultant Kenny Lim, 48, and telecommunications engineer L.C. Ooi, 59, was given an award for “highest altitude trekking.” 

For their assault of Mount Everest’s North Face the team trekked for five days from the Tibetan village of Tashi Dzom, at 4,580m, to Camp II at 5,807m.  

They had wanted to push on to above 6,000m but could not go further because the climb would have been too difficult.  

“It was tough, but we were more prepared this time than in our previous climbs,” Toh said.  

Being prepared also meant he did not suffer from the effects of acute mountain sickness, unlike during the Mount Kilimanjaro climb when he lost his sight totally for a few hours until he descended to lower altitudes. 

Toh's story is posted on his website .  

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