Despite four heart operations, 80-year-old Japanese climber Yuichiro Miura became the oldest person to reach the summit of Mount Everest Thursday at 9:05 a.m. local time.
"I made it!" Miura said over the phone in a call to his support team in Tokyo. "I never imagined I could make it to the top of Mount Everest at age 80. This is the world's best feeling, although I'm totally exhausted. Even at 80, I can still do quite well."
The record was confirmed by a Nepalese mountaineering official and Miura’s Tokyo-based support team, and is even more impressive given that Miura underwent his fourth surgery for an irregular heartbeat in January.
Miura is no stranger to Everest or outdoor sports. The former extreme skier also climbed the world’s highest peak at the age of 70 and 75. On this expedition, Miura climbed with his 43-year-old son, two other Japanese climbers and six Nepali Sherpa guides.
The previous record holder is Nepalese climber Bahadur Sherchan who reached the peak at age 76 in 2008, just a day before Miura summited at age 75. Their rivalry continues as Sherchan—now 81—prepares for his summit bid next week.
Still, Miura will hold the record for at least the next several days and is already discussing his next adventure: A ski trip down the Himalayan peak Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world. He plans to begin the expedition in 2018 at the age of 85.
Yuichiro and his team members settle in at their first base camp. Credit:Yuichiro Miura/Facebook
The climbers enjoy hand-wrapped sushi at camp four. Credit:Yuichiro Miura/Facebook