One never to give up, the former record holder for the oldest Everest summit, Japanese climber Yuichiro Miura, is now targeting another summit at age 80 - in 2013. This according to a report today from AFP. He wants to climb the north this time after previously completing two successful south-side climbs.
Late last week he lost his record to Nepalese Min Bahadur Sherchan who produced birth certificates to verify his claim that he was the oldest person to top out Everest with his summit last year. He was 76 at the time.
Miura-san is most famous for being the man who skied down Everest in the 1970 documentary, "The Man Who Skied Down Everest." It reveals what climbing Everest was like before the crowds and commercial expeditions.
He did not ski Everest proper, he actually skied the Lhotse face. Using a parachute as drag, he skied 6,600 feet in two minutes and 20 seconds, and then fell another 1320 feet when he stopped just below the bergschrund at the base of the face. You have to rent the film. Sadly, eight Sherpas died during his expedition, which left Miura-san devastated.
I met Miura-san in the Khumbu Icefall in 2003. He was coming down from his successful summit at age 70. He was resting along with several Sherpas and eating something. I mustered the courage to speak to this living legend and asked him what was his secret to climbing at such an admirable age.
He looked down at his lap where he had several small containers. He picked one up, holding it in his gloved fingers and gently looked at me. With a wry smile, he revealed his secret: "Bee's honey." Then laughed with the strength of a 30 year-old!An amazing individual, Miura-san.
He tells AFP that he will start training for Everest with successive climbs of 5000, 6000 and 7000 meter peaks.
Gokouun o inorimasu. Miura-san, Gokouun o inorimasu