KATMANDU – First he skied down Everest; now he wants to conquer it.
The challenge of climbing the world’s tallest peak is irresistible for Japanese mountaineer and adventure skier Yuichiro Miura, who at the ripe age of 70 is hoping to reach the summit in May.
“It is still the ultimate achievement for many, and the challenge it poses to adventure seekers is simply irresistible,” he said.
Miura made an unsuccessful bid to scale the 8,850-meter mountain in 1970.
He missed the summit by some 800 meters but then made history by becoming the first person to ski down its southern slopes with the aid of a parachute.
“That was 33 years ago,” he said. “This time my priority will be to scale the summit, not skiing.”
He will be accompanied by his 33-year-old son, Gota.
Miura said he has trained his mind and body for five years.
His last climbing feat was the 8,201-meter Mount Cho Oyu on the Nepal-China border, which he scaled last May.
Some 84 Japanese men and women have scaled Everest, some more than once.
At this point, Tomiyasu Ishikawa, 65, is the oldest person to scale Everest, a feat accomplished last year.
Miura said he hopes the climb up Mount Everest will motivate the growing number of elderly people worldwide.
“Old people also want to live a healthy life, and even take up challenges,” he said.
In an attempt to inspire elderly people, Miura’s 99-year-old father, Keizo, skied down the slopes of the 3,900-meter Mont Blanc in France in February.
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