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.