29 October 2012, 14:39

Yuichiro Miura, known as the godfather of extreme skiing, has set himself a new task that would tax most men half his age: Climbing Mount Everest at the age of 80.

The skier and adventurer plans to make his assault on the 8,848-meter peak in spring. It would make him the oldest person to scale Everest.

Miura turned 80 on Oct. 12. He has climbed the world's highest mountain twice since turning 70.

"To challenge Everest at 80 may be the limit for a human being," Miura said. “But I couldn't be happier, especially since the challenge is a mountain peak."

Miura will be accompanied by his second son Gota Miura, 43, and Noriyuki Muraguchi, a 56-year-old photographer who has scaled Everest seven times and holds the record for the feat by a Japanese.

The team aims to reach the summit in mid-May by taking a route from the Chinese side.

Miura rewrote the world record as the oldest climber to scale the Everest in 2003, when, at the age of 70, he and his son climbed the mountain.

Miura again conquered the Everest in 2008 at age 75, which made him the second oldest person to reach the summit after a 76-year-old Nepalese who reached the top around the same time.

Miura has skied down some of the world's highest peaks.



 Oldest Everest climber seeks new record


A nepalese mountain climber who already holds the world record as the oldest person to scale Mount Everest told The Myanmar Times last week that he plans to break his own benchmark by conquering the world’s highest mountain again early next year.

Min Bahadur Sherchan reached the 8848-metre (29,029-foot) summit of Mount Everest on May 25, 2008, at the age of 76 years 340 days, a record-breaking feat that has been recognised by Guinness World Records.

Not satisfied with his achievement, he said he is planning to climb the mountain again next February, at the age of 82.

“I want to do something tough that others at my age don’t do,” Mr Sherchan said during a visit to Yangon from September 30 to October 2.

“Most people drink and smoke and giving up the habits that seem too difficult for them. When they get older, there are many factors that make succeeding less probable,” he said.

“But elderly people need to get into the habit of walking, hiking or mountaineering. I want to prove how the wonders will never end for us if we can succeed. That’s why I gave up drinking and smoking, and try to be a role model for other people to aspire to.”

Mr Sherchan said he was a soldier in the British Gurkha Army from 1948 to 1953, and later turned his attention to growing apples on his plantation in Nepal.

After selling the plantation, he started a new career as an agent for hikers and mountaineers in Nepal. He has also worked as a building contractor.

He said he was “very determined” to break his own record and succeed at summiting Everest again.

“If I don’t succeed, I might come to the end of my life. Whether or not I reach the summit, fate will decide. But I have a strong will to conquer it and succeed,” he said.

Mr Sherchan said he reached the peak in 2008 with five other climbers.

“I didn’t have much trouble and the weather was fine too. When I stood at the summit of the highest mountain on earth, I felt as if I was even higher than Mount Everest,” he said.

Mr Sherchan was visiting Myanmar as an honorary goodwill ambassador for Visit Lumbini Year 2012. Lumbini, located in Nepal, was the birthplace of the Buddha and is a popular pilgrimage site.