Yuichiro Miura: The Old Fogey

A look at some of the unique records being broken on the world's highest peak

May 1, 2013
Outside Magazine
Yuichiro Miura everest climbing oldest

   Photo: Courtesy of Yuichiro Miura

In his third bid for the summit, 80-year-old Yuichiro Miura of Japan is attempting to reclaim the title of oldest Everest climber. He’s held the oldest man on top of the world title before, in 2003, but he lost it five years later. The current record holder, Min Bahadur Sherchan, who is Nepalese, climbed it in May of 2008 when he was 76. Miura, who also climbed that season, summited the following day, but he was only 75. Five years later he’s back to regain the old dude crown. He’s climbing the southeast ridge with a nine-person team including his 43-year-old son, Gota, and a doctor specializing in heart disorders, who is there to monitor Miura who had two heart surgeries last fall.

Mirua has been breaking obscure records on Everest for the past 40 years. In 1970, he became the first person to ski Everest. He skied from the South Col, wearing a fighter pilot helmet and a parachute. The Nepalese government wouldn’t let him ski from the summit. He caught an edge, and tumbled uncontrollably down most of the face after his parachute failed to deploy. A documentary about his descent, The Man Who Skied Down Everest, came out in 1975; he calls himself the man who fell down Everest.

Mirua told Reuters that he has other climbs on his tick list, and that Everest won’t be his last peak. "Maybe, when I become 85 years old, and if I stay alive, I want to climb and ski down Cho Oyu," he said. "It is my next dream."

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