Katmandu: An 80-year-old Japanese mountain climber who has had heart surgery four times is heading to Mount Everest to try for a third ascent of the world’s highest peak and will become the oldest person to reach the top if he succeeds. Yuichiro Miura climbed to the summit of the 8,850 meter mountain in 2003 and 2008.
He skied down Everest from an altitude of 8,000 meters in 1970. Miura and a nine-person team will climb up the standard southeast ridge route, pioneered by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay when they became the first people to reach the summit in May 1953. “The record is not so important for me,” the white-haired Miura told Reuters in the Nepali capital, Katmandu, before setting out for the mountain.
“It is important to get to the top.” The record for the oldest person to climb the mountain is held by Nepal’s Min Bahadur Sherchan, who reached the summit at the age of 76, in 2008. A doctor specializing in heart ailments is in the team to keep an eye on Miura’s health.
The group hopes to summit in May. “If you wish strongly, have courage and endurance, then you can get to the summit of your dream,” said Miura.