Climber, 80, becomes oldest atop Everest

KATMANDU, Nepal — An 80-year-old Japanese mountaineer on Thursday became the oldest person to reach the top of Mount Everest — although his record may last only a few days. An 81-year-old Nepalese man, who held the previous record, plans his own ascent next week.

Yuichiro Miura, who also conquered the 29,035-foot (8,850-meter) peak when he was 70 and 75, reached the summit at 9:05 a.m. local time Thursday, according to a Nepalese mountaineering official and Miura’s Tokyo-based support team.

Miura and his son Gota called them from the summit, prompting his daughter Emili to smile broadly and clap her hands in footage on public broadcaster NHK.

“I made it!” Miura said over the phone. “I never imagined I could make it to the top of Mt. 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 climbers planned to stick around the summit for about half an hour, take photos and then start to descend, his office said.

Nepalese mountaineering official Gyanendra Shrestha, at Everest base camp, confirmed that Miura had reached the summit, making him the oldest person to do so.

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

Sherchan, now 81, was preparing to scale the peak next week despite digestive problems he suffered several days ago. On Wednesday, Sherchan said by telephone from the base camp that he was in good health and “ready to take up the challenge.”

Sherchan’s team is also facing financial difficulties. It hasn’t received the financial help that the Nepal government announced it would provide them. Purna Chandra Bhattarai, chief of Nepal’s mountaineering department, said the aid proposal was still under consideration.

On his expedition’s website, Miura explained his attempt to scale Everest at such an advanced age: “It is to challenge (my) own ultimate limit. It is to honor the great Mother Nature.”

He said a successful climb would raise the bar for what is possible.

“And if the limit of age 80 is at the summit of Mt. Everest, the highest place on earth, one can never be happier,” he said.

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 fractured his pelvis and left thigh bone in a 2009 skiing accident.

Miura became famous when he was a young man as a daredevil speed skier.

He skied down Everest’s South Col in 1970, using a parachute to brake his descent. The feat was captured in the Oscar-winning 1975 documentary, “The Man Who Skied Down Everest.” He has also skied down Mt. Fuji.

It wasn’t until Miura was 70, however, that he first climbed all the way to the summit of Everest. When he summited again at 75, he claimed to be the only man to accomplish the feat twice in his 70s. After that, he said he was determined to climb again at age 80.

More in Local News

Fatal car crash reported on Highway 92 near Lake Stevens

The 3 p.m. accident and investigation stopped traffic in both directions near Machias Road.

Firefighters come to the rescue and give mom new stroller

Donations to the Good Neighbor Program covered the $143.20 cost.

February trial set for suspect in deadly Marysville shooting

There had been questions about Wayne Alpert’s mental health.

Motorcyclist killed in crash had high level of THC

A motorcyclist had more than eight times the legal limit… Continue reading

Police: Driver threatens pedestrian, ends up in drug bust

Meth, cocaine and heroin were found in his car, along with a loaded pistol and cash, police say.

Son arrested for hitting father on head at Marysville home

The father grabbed a metal rod and struck his son in the head, too. Both needed medical treatment.

Cheering families welcome Kidd, Shoup after 6 months at sea

“I get back Daddy back today,” said one homemade sign at Naval Station Everett.

Lynnwood 15-year-old charged in killing of Everett woman

He told police that he and four other teens intended to rob the victim’s son, who was also shot.

Paine Field fire chief will be allowed to retire

In his letter, the airport director noted Jeff Bohnet was leaving while under investigation.

Most Read