Miura calls it a day with Mount Everest

Kyodo

Famed alpinist and professional skier Yuichiro Miura, who defied age last week by climbing Mount Everest at 80, said Sunday in Katmandu that he will not attempt the mountain again.

“Three times is enough,” Miura told a press conference called just hours after he traveled by helicopter from Camp 2 of the world’s highest mountain to Katmandu.

The alpinist, who looked very healthy, spoke vigorously in Japanese, which his son, Gota, who also climbed the 8,848-meter peak with him, translated to English.

It was the second time the father and son made it to the top of the mountain. Their first joint climb was in 2003.

Miura said after climbing the mountain at age 75 in 2008, he had thought that being 80 years old is nothing. But this time, he suffered, too.

“At this point, I can’t think of anything but rest,” he said.

Kazue Oshiro, the doctor for Miura’s climbing team, later said that although Miura, an arrhythmia patient, did not have an irregular heartbeat during the climb, he showed an unexpected level of exhaustion after the summit day.

Despite calling it a day with Mount Everest, Miura has one unfulfilled dream he hopes to achieve in the future.

That dream, Miura said, is to ski down the 8,201-meter Cho-Oyu, a mountain straddling Nepal and Tibet.

When prodded about the possibility that his Everest world record might be beaten by 81-year-old Nepali Min Bahadur Sherchan, who is seeking to reach the top of Mount Everest in the coming days, Miura wished him good luck, but added that any record needs proof, including proof of climb and proof of age.

Elaborating on that, his son pointed at a picture taken this week of Miura on the summit and said: “You can recognize my father on top of Mount Everest. No one owns Mount Everest. We humbly request any record keeping should be legit.”

Miura, for whom sushi will be his first dish after he reaches Japan, added that his record-setting climb has a message to octogenarians in Japan — that one must not give up on one’s dreams.

He thanked the Japanese and Nepali people who supported his climb and was especially full of praise for Nepali Sherpas.

The climb “could not have been successful without the help of the Nepali people, especially Sherpas who defended our lives,” he said, adding that at his age, climbing cannot be done without Nepali Sherpas.

“My happiest memory of this trip is that no one got hurt in our expedition,” he added.

“I felt no altitude sickness, diarrhea or headache,” he said.

Miura has undergone four catheter ablation operations since 2008 for arrhythmia, the latest being as recently as in January.

Among his many accomplishments is his feat of skiing down Mount Everest from the South Col at an elevation of 8,000 meters in 1970.

  • Vikram Balaram

    Congratulations Yuichiro Miura, feel very proud of you.
    Vikram, India.