National

Japanese climber Yuichiro Miura, 86, to ‘hang on to the last’ in summit attempt of Argentina’s Mount Aconcagua

JIJI, Kyodo

Alpinist Yuichiro Miura, 86, vowed Monday to make every effort to conquer South America’s highest peak, Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, in January.

“I’ll hang on to the last, and it would be perfect if I reach the summit,” Miura told a news conference.

He said he plans to ski down from near the top if he succeeds in climbing the 6,962-meter mountain.

Miura scaled the mountain 33 years ago. Among the world’s so-called seven summits, it was the last mountain for him to ski down. “The magnificent scenery is one attraction,” Miura said, adding that one of the hardest parts will be the fragile slope near the end of the planned ski route.

“I want to overcome difficulties with support from people who have offered help,” said Miura. A doctor will accompany him, as he has an irregular heartbeat.

In May 2013, Miura became the oldest person to scale Mount Everest, at the age of 80.

Miura reached the summit of the world’s highest mountain in 2003 at age 70 and again in 2008 at 75. His 2013 climb came after he was seriously injured in a skiing accident four years earlier and underwent repeated heart surgery for an irregular heartbeat.

Miura has undergone four catheter ablation operations since 2008 for arrhythmia. His son, Gota, took on Mount Everest with him, in the pair’s second father and son trip to the summit. Their first joint climb was in 2003.