Eighty-Year-Old Japanese Man Becomes Oldest Person To Climb Mt Everest -- PROMO

Category: Daily Promo / May 23, 2013 7:22PM EDT


An 80-year-old Japanese mountain climber who has had four heart surgeries reached the top of Mount Everest on Thursday (May 23), becoming the oldest person to conquer the world's highest mountain.

Yuichiro Miura, who took the standard southeast ridge route pioneered by Sir Edmund Hillaryand Tenzing Norgay 60 years ago, reached the top of the 8,848 metre (29,028 feet) mountain at roughly 0900 local time (0300 GMT).

He was accompanied by three other Japanese, including his son Gota, and six Nepali sherpas.

"It's the best feeling in the world. I never thought I'd reach the summit of Everest at the age of eighty. It was the best feeling in the world to get here, but now I'm feeling the most tired I've ever been," Miura told family members and supporters gathered in Tokyo by satellite phone from the summit.

His family in Tokyo, waiting by the phone for his call, were relieved to hear his voice.

"I think it's best if you just come down quickly now," said his wife, Tomoko Miura.

Miura, who first climbed Everest in 2003 and repeated the feat five years later, takes the oldest climber record from Nepal's Min Bahadur Sherchan, who reached the summit at the age of 76 in 2008.

His ascent had been watched closely in Japan, with daily broadcasts of phone calls and photographs from the climb - including one night when he and his fellow climbers drank Japanese green tea and ate hand-rolled sushi in their tent high on the mountain's side.

A noted adventurer, Miura skied down Everest from the South Col in 1970, a feat that became the subject of a documentary.

He has since skied down the highest mountains on each of the seven continents, following the tradition of his late father Keizo, who skied down Europe's Mont Blanc at the age of 99.

He trained for the Everest climb by hiking in Tokyo with weighted packs and working out on a treadmill in a special low-oxygen room in his home.

Nearly 4,000 climbers have reached the Everest summit since the pioneering May 1953 climb, while 240 have lost their lives on its slopes.

But Miura's record may only be his to savour briefly. Nepal's Min Bahadur Sherchan, now 81, plans to start climbing the peak this coming weekend.


(Video Source: REUTERS)