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Octogenarians bid for Everest record

Published on 22 May 2013 10:30 AM

Two mountaineers are out to prove that life begins at 80. They are racing to become the oldest men to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Japanese extreme skier Yuichiro Miura, 80, is making another attempt on the record - 5 years after he missed out on the honour by a single day.


Miura said on his expedition website that he hopes a successful climb will raise the bar for what is achievable by older people.

He faces stiff competition from 81-year-old Nepalese arch-rival Min Bahadur Sherchan, who nabbed the record a day before he could in 2008.

Everest News reported that Miura, then 75, and his son successfully climbed to the top of the world's tallest peak, however Sherchan had swiped the accolade 24 hours earlier.

Miura senior is already in the oxygen-deficient 'Death Zone', where he hopes to reach the 8,848 metres (29,028ft) summit a day later.

Sherchan is at the base camp planning for his own record bid later this week.

Peak condition

Miura told the Press Trust of India (PTI) that he feels in peak condition.

He said: 'My condition is better than when I was 70 and 75 and the weather has been much nicer than forecast.'

PTI said this is despite the fact that Miura was badly injured in a skiing accident 4 years ago and has twice undergone heart arrhythmia surgery.

The Guardian said that Miura once held the record, in 2003 aged 70 - until it was broken by another Japanese climber 4 years later.

'I want to ski down a mountain at 85'

Miura is no stranger to extreme records.

Smithsonian Magazine reports that he became the first man to ski Mount Vinson in Antarctica, Mount Fuji in Japan, the Towers of Paine in Chile, and Mount Popocatépetl in Mexico, all achieved in the 1960s.

Miura also established the world speed record for skiing in 1964 with a velocity of nearly 107 miles per hour (172kph).

Even if successful, Miura may not be finished yet.

Cho Oyu, the world's sixth-highest mountain at 26,906ft (8,021 metres), also in the Himalayas, is his next dream.

'Maybe, when I become 85 years old, and if I stay alive, I want to climb and ski down Cho Oyu,' he said.

Copyright Press Association 2013

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Last updated: Dec 05 2018

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