80-year-old eldest conqueror of Everest at summit


The 80-year-old Japanese mountaineer, Yuichiro Miura’s expressed relief and gratitude as he reached the top of Mount Everest on Thursday.

Footage filmed by Japanese agency Kyodo showed the team reaching the summit, with audio of their first radio transmission reporting their success the moment they arrived to a family member at Everest Base Camp.

Yuichiro Miura was accompanied to the summit by his son, Gota Miura, and once there they spoke his other son, Yuta Miura, who was at Everest Base Camp.

“The Miura expedition team has just reached the summit. It is 9am,” Gota declared.

After being congratulated by Yuta Miura, the eighty-year old father pointed out the significance of the climb.

“I think it is the first time in history that a father-son duo has reached the summit for a second time. And I think it is the first time an 80-year-old has reached the summit,” he said, adding: “The world’s most incredible mountaineering team has helped me all the way up here.”

The footage was shot from an altitude of 18-thousand feet (5,500 metres), and about 6.2 miles (10 kilometres) away from where the team was, and combined with the audio from radio transmissions.

A Nepalese mountaineering official at the Everest base camp, confirmed that Miura had reached the summit and was the oldest person to do so.

In Tokyo, Japanese chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga congratulated Miura on his achievement.

“This will be deeply touching to all the people of Japan. And, especially, in an aging society, it will also give much courage and hope to all the elderly people,” Suga said.

Yuichiro Miura also conquered the 29,035-foot (8,850-metre) peak when he was 70 and 75.

The previous oldest climber was Nepal’s Min Bahadur Sherchan, who accomplished the feat in 2008 at the age of 76, just one day before Miura reached the top at age 75.

The latest record may be short-lived as Sherchan, now 81, has been preparing to scale the peak next week despite digestive problems he suffered several days ago.

Miura conquered the mountain despite undergoing heart surgery in January for irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia, his fourth heart operation since 2007, according to his daughter.

He also broke his pelvis and left thigh bone in a 2009 skiing accident.

(Copyright 2013 APTN. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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