For some people, the siren call of big peaks is more than they can resist. This is especially true for Yuichiro Miura.
In 1970, at the age of 37, the Japanese skier and mountaineer became the first person to ski down Everest. By 1985, he had skied the highest peaks on all seven continents.
Burned out, Miura returned to Japan where he taught skiing in Sapporo each winter and took his summers off.
This might have been the end of Miura’s mountaineering story, but in 2003, the Himalaya called him back. At the age of 70, he became the oldest person to summit Everest.
And, five years later, he did it again.
Now, keeping with his 5-year tradition, Miura plans to reset his record once more. During a news conference on Oct. 12, 2012—his 80th birthday—he announced his intention to become the first octogenarian to climb to the top of the 29,029-foot peak.
Miura is training hard to regain the strength he will need for the feat, and calls his word the “best anti-aging activity.” At the summit of Everest, the air has one-third of the oxygen found at sea level, forcing most mountaineers to use oxygen tanks to reach the top. To summit takes six to nine weeks during which climbers cross glacial crevasses, climb ice falls in freezing conditions and face numerous other life-threatening hazards.
Miura will attempt Everest in the spring season, which runs from April to June. He has several sponsors who will finance approximately $1.1 million of the adventure. Even with this money, however, Miura doesn’t think he’ll break even. He plans to write books and make speeches to offset the extra expenses.