An 80-year-old Japanese mountaineer has set out to reclaim his title as the oldest man ever to successfully summit Mount Everest.
According to the Japan Times, Yuichiro Miura departed from Everest's base camp at 5,300 meters above sea level on Thursday, hoping to summit the world's tallest mountain by May 24. If Miura succeeds, he will break the current record held by Nepalese climber Min Bahadur Sherchan, who was 76 when he summited Everest on May 25, 2008, the Associated Press reported at the time.
According to Everest News, Miura and his son successfully summited the following day, when Miura was 75. Though a year shy of Sherchan's record, he was able to surpass his own personal record, set in 2003 at the age of 70 -- good enough for the world record until it was broken by another Japanese climber in 2007, the Guardian notes.
Not to be outdone, Sherchan has announced plans to make another ascent this year, AFP reports. If he succeeds, the now 82-year-old would reclaim the seemingly fleeting glory of being the eldest on Everest.
For his part, Miura told the Press Trust of India that he feels better than ever, even at his advanced age. "My condition is better than when I was 70 and 75," he stated, adding that "the weather has been much nicer than forecast."
As PTI notes, this is despite the fact that Miura was seriously injured in a skiing accident in 2009 and has undergone two surgeries since then to combat recurring heart arrhythmia.
Miura is no stranger to unique records. According to Smithsonian Magazine, during the 1960s he became the first man to ski Mount Vinson in Antarctica, Mount Fuji in Japan, the Towers of Paine in Chile, and Mount Popocatépetl in Mexico. He also set the world speed record for skiing in 1964 with a velocity of almost 107 miles per hour.
As Smithsonian points out, however, Miura will likely always be known as the first and only man to have skied down Everest. On May 6, 1970, he descended 4,200 vertical feet from Everest's South Col with skis strapped to his feet and a parachute on his back. The achievement was immortalized in a 1975 film that went on to win the Oscar for best documentary. Be sure to check out a scene from The Man Who Skied Down Everest below.
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A long exposure of the Mount Everest range seen from Syangboche, a small Himalayan settlement some 140kms (87 miles) northeast of Kathmandu on December 4, 2009. (PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
Nepalese young climber Nima Chemji Sherpa is welcomed by family and friends on her arrival at Tribhuvan domestic airport after summiting Mount Everest, in Kathmandu on May 25, 2012. Nima Chemji reached Everest summit on 19 May 2012 and she claims to be the youngest woman ever to scale Mount Everest. (PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/GettyImages)
Nepalese mountaineer Apa Sherpa, who has scaled Mount Everest a record-breaking 21 times, is photographed while on the Great Himalaya Trail, one of the longest and highest trekking routes in the world, in the Nepalese Himalayas on February 13, 2012. ( Sameer Jung THAPA/AFP/Getty Images)
This picture taken on May 17, 2010 shows Nepalese sherpas after retrieving two corpses of climbers that were left on the world's highest mountain during the Everest clean-up expedition at Mount Everest. Since 1953, there have been some 300 deaths on Everest. Many bodies have been brought down, but those above 8,000 metres have generally been left to the elements -- their bodies preserved by the freezing temperatures. (NAMGYAL SHERPA/AFP/Getty Images)
In this Thursday, May 9, 2002 file photo, Tamae Watanabe, right, of Japan poses with a photograher Noriyuki Muraguchi at a base camp on the foot of Mt. Everest in Nepal. A 73-year-old Watanabe has climbed Mount Everest, smashing her own record to again become the oldest woman to scale the world's highest mountain. (AP Photo/Office Seven Summits, File)
In this Oct. 19, 2011 file photo courtesy of SNV Nepal, Great Himalaya Trail Development Programme, a trekker sits by Birendra Lake in the Manaslu region, part of the Great Himalaya Trail route, in Nepal. In the shadow of Mount Everest and its magnetic lore, a cross-border route with a grand name, the Great Himalaya Trail, is being touted as an epic, untapped alternative to the bucket-list trek to base camp on the world's highest mountain. (AP Photo/SNV Nepal, Great Himalaya Trail Development Programme, Samir Thapa, File)
In this Oct. 27, 2011 file photo, the last light of the day sets on Mount Everest as it rises behind Mount Nuptse as seen from Tengboche, in the Himalaya's Khumbu region, Nepal. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer, File)