Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Man, 80, oldest to climb Everest

Eighty-year-old Japanese adventurer Yuichiro Miura, right, is greeted by his friend climber Kenji Kondo (AP/Miura Dolphins)
Eighty-year-old Japanese extreme skier Yuichiro Miura, right, and his son, Gota (AP/Miura Dolphins Co Ltd)

Eighty-year-old Japanese mountaineer Yuichiro Miura has become the oldest man to reach the top of Mount Everest.

Mr Miura, who also conquered the 29,035ft peak when he was 70 and 75, reached the summit at 9.05am local time, according to his support team in Tokyo. Mr Miura called them from the summit to report the news.

Nepalese mountaineering official Gyanendra Shrestha, at Everest base camp, confirmed that Mr Miura had reached the summit, making him the oldest person to do so.

The previous age record holder was Nepal's Min Bahadur Sherchan, who accomplished the feat at 76 in 2008.

Mr Sherchan, now 81, was preparing for his own attempt on the summit next week.

Mr Miura and his son Gota called the support team from the summit to report the news. Public broadcaster NHK showed footage of Mr Miura's daughter Emili talking with them via speaker phone in Tokyo, clapping when her brother told her they had reached the top.

"This is the world's best feeling," Mr Miura said. "I'm also totally exhausted."

The climbers planned to stay around the summit for about half an hour, take photos and then start to descend, Mr Miura's Tokyo office said.

On his expedition's website, Mr Miura explained his attempt to scale Everest at such an advanced age, saying: "It is to challenge (my) own ultimate limit. It is to honour the great Mother Nature."

He said a successful climb would raise the bar for what is possible. "And if the limit of age 80 is at the summit of Mt Everest, the highest place on earth, one can never be happier," he said.

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