Miura returns home after setting Everest record

Kyodo

Alpinist Yuichiro Miura, 80, returned to Tokyo on Wednesday morning after becoming the oldest person to scale Mount Everest.

After leaving Japan on March 29, Miura reached the 8,848-meter summit May 23, surpassing the previous record set by Nepali climber Min Bahadur Sherchan in 2008, at age 76.

Miura reached the summit in 2003 at age 70 and again in 2008 at 75. His latest attempt came after he was seriously injured in a skiing accident four years ago and underwent repeated heart surgery for an irregular heartbeat.

Meanwhile, Sherchan, 81, confirmed Tuesday that he has called off his attempt to reclaim the record.

“I have abandoned my attempt and have returned to Katmandu. I will explain the circumstances leading to the abandonment at a news conference later this week,” Sherchan said by phone from his residence in the Nepalese capital.

His grandson, Manoj Gauchan, said Sherchan was forced to abandon the bid because the government of Nepal delayed financial assistance to the expedition.

“My grandfather had requested financial help from the government. The government was very late in extending financial help and a climbing permit,” said Gauchan, who had been coordinating Sherchan’s aborted bid. “The government decided to extend help last Thursday only. It was too late because the best weather window to climb the mountain was almost over by then.”

Sherchan, a former British Army soldier, left for Lukla, the most popular gateway to Everest, on May 3 after learning that Miura had reached the mountain’s base camp to attempt the climb.