Alpinist Miura, 80, off to retake Everest age record

Kyodo

Yuichi Miura, 80, has launched his bid to retake the crown as the oldest person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, his management office said Thursday.

If all goes as planned, Miura will conquer the world’s highest peak around May 24 to break the age record held by Nepali climber Min Bahadur Sherchan, who achieved it in 2008 at 76, after Miura took it in 2003 at age 70.

The Nepalese also reportedly plans to scale the mountain at age of 81 to defend his record.

Miura left the base camp, located at 5,300 meters, at 5:15 a.m. for the 8,848-meter peak, along with his second-eldest son, Gota, 43, and their Sherpas.

“I feel better than ever,” Miura said in a phone call to the office.

Miura was seriously injured in a skiing accident in 2009 and underwent heart surgery twice following a recurrence of arrhythmia last autumn.

His Everest connections include the 1975 documentary “The Man Who Skied Down Everest,” based on his almost vertical fall, with skis, for 1,000-plus meters from an elevation of around 8,000 meters.