Quantcast

Thursday, July 31, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 6 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

Japanese climber, 80, becomes oldest to summit Everest

By Binaj Gurubacharya

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 05:03 a.m. HST, May 23, 2013


KATMANDU, Nepal » An 80-year-old Japanese man who began the year with his fourth heart operation became the oldest conqueror of Mount Everest on Thursday (Wednesday in Hawaii), a feat he called "the world's best feeling" even with an 81-year-old Nepalese climber not far behind him.

Yuichiro Miura, a former extreme skier who also climbed the 29,035-foot peak when he was 70 and 75, reached the summit at 9:05 a.m. local time, according to a Nepalese mountaineering official and Miura's Tokyo-based support team.

It was a moment Japanese news agency Kyodo captured on video from 6 miles away, using a camera crew at 18,000 feet elevation on another mountain.

"We have arrived at the summit," Miura said in a radio transmission to Kyodo from the world's highest point. "80 years and 7 months. ... The world's most incredible mountaineering team had helped me all the way up here."

Miura and his son Gota made a phone call from the summit, prompting his daughter Emili to smile broadly and clap her hands in footage shown by Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

"I made it!" Miura said over the phone. "I never imagined I could make it to the top of Mount Everest at age 80. This is the world's best feeling, although I'm totally exhausted. Even at 80, I can still do quite well."

Nepalese mountaineering official Gyanendra Shrestha, at the Everest base camp, confirmed that Miura had reached the summit and was the oldest person to do so.

The previous oldest was Nepal's Min Bahadur Sherchan, the 81-year-old on Miura's heels.

Sherchan is preparing to scale the peak next week despite digestive problems he suffered several days ago. On Wednesday, Sherchan said by telephone from the base camp that he was in good health and "ready to take up the challenge."

The two elderly mountaineers have crossed paths before.

Miura, who had become the oldest Everest climber with his ascent at age 70, would have reclaimed the title in 2008 as a 75-year-old, but Sherchan, then 76, reached the summit just a day before he did.

Emili Miura said Wednesday that his father he "doesn't really care" about the rivalry. "He's doing it for his own challenge."

Sherchan's team leader, Temba, who uses one name, said Sherchan will congratulate the new record holder when he returns to the base camp, and that he won't turn back until he completes his mission.

Sherchan got good news Thursday when Nepal's government approved financial aid for his climb. The Cabinet approved $11,200 for Sherchan's expedition and waived $70,000 in permit fees, said Bimal Gautam, the press adviser to the Chairman of the Council of Ministers.

Miura conquered the mountain despite undergoing heart surgery in January for an irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia, his fourth heart operation since 2007, according to his daughter. He also broke his pelvis and left thigh bone in a 2009 skiing accident.

On his expedition's website, he explained his attempt to scale Everest at an advanced age: "It is to challenge (my) own ultimate limit. It is to honor the great Mother Nature."

He said a successful climb would raise the bar for what is possible, a point echoed after his success by Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

"This will be deeply touching to all the people of Japan. And, especially, in an aging society, it will also give much courage and hope to all elderly people," Suga said at a news conference.

Miura became famous when he was a young man as a daredevil speed skier.

He skied down Everest's South Col in 1970, using a parachute to brake his descent. The feat was captured in the Oscar-winning 1975 documentary, "The Man Who Skied Down Everest." He has also skied down Mount Fuji.

It wasn't until Miura was 70, however, that he first climbed to the top of Everest. When he summited again at 75, he claimed to be the only man to accomplish the feat twice in his 70s. After that, he said he was determined to climb again at age 80.

Associated Press writers Malcolm Foster and Mari Yamaguchi contributed to this report from Tokyo.






 Print   Email   Comment | View 6 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

COMMENTS
(6)
You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
peanutgallery wrote:
Proof that if you have enough $$, you too can climb Everest. The question is: how much trash did you leave? After decades of climbing Everest, the base areas are so polluted with garbage, oxygen cannisters, and feces, that it's a blight.
on May 23,2013 | 05:16AM
cojef wrote:
Wonder where he gets his money from? It cost a lot of kala to scale Mount Everest. The fees let alone the logistics to get one to the jump of spot to make the ascent.
on May 23,2013 | 05:37AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Not to mention all that aspirin must really be expensive.
on May 23,2013 | 07:20AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Just spend his kids inheritance.
on May 23,2013 | 11:09AM
soundofreason wrote:
You can guess what I feel like right now. Can't type such words here.
on May 23,2013 | 07:26AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Must be daikon that kept him strong and gassy?
on May 23,2013 | 11:08AM
IN OTHER NEWS
Breaking News
Blogs
The Green Leaf
Marine debris art

Political Radar
`Toss up’

Political Radar
Super

Political Radar
Hilton; Plaza Club

Political Radar
Direct mail