Yuichiro Miura, an 80-year-old Japanese mountaineer, became the oldest man to reach the top of the world’s tallest mountain on Thursday. Miura reached the summit of Mount Everest (which stands 29,035 feet tall) in the early morning hours.
It is the third time Miura has summited the peak three times now. He previously accomplished the feat at ages 70 (in 2003) and 75 (in 2008). In fact, the previous oldest climber to do it was Nepal’s Min Bahadur Sherchan, who summited Everest at 76 years old back in 2008. That occurred just one day before Miura reached the top at age 75.
Sherchan is now 81 years old and will attempt to summit the mountain again next week, which mean’s Miura’s record may not last long. The oldest woman to summit Everest is also Japanese. Tamae Watanabe was 73 when she reached the top last year.
When he reached the summit at 9:05 a.m. local time in Nepal, Miura and his son Gota (who accompanied him on the climb) called down to his support team to announce the news. Miura’s daughter Emili talked to her brother and father via speakerphone in Tokyo when they finally reached the top.
The crazy part of all this is not just Miura’s age, but the fact that he broke his hip in an accident two years ago and also underwent heart surgery in January. That he even attempted to climb Everest after those health issues is simply insane.
To prepare for his ascent, Miura walked three times a week with 55 to 65 pounds on his back.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay becoming the first men to reach the top of the mountain. They accomplished the feat on May 29, 1953.