x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Where's your summit?

Yuichiro Miura, 80, who has undergone four heart surgeries, has recently announced plans for his third trip to the Everest peak.

Since Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay conquered Mount Everest in 1953, about 4,000 people have followed them - and 240 have died trying. Each year, more names are added to the list of successful climbers. Naturally, the summit is no longer the austere, forbidding mystery it once was.

But while mountain-climbing purists now see Everest as sadly shopworn, it is still a symbol of achievement to others, such as the remarkable Yuichiro Miura, who has recently announced plans for his third trip to the peak - this one at age 80, and after four heart surgeries.

Whether or not he becomes the oldest person to reach the top, Mr Miura has already become a symbol of two distinct things - human determination and the way the sense of wonder can be eroded.

Serious climbers may see Everest as polluted and crowded, but for Mr Miura, as for many others, it is still a cherished goal. The point is that goals, like mountains, are where you find them.

From the strongest, most skilled mountaineer to the elderly and infirm, every human being needs goals in life. The challenge for each of us is to set our own appropriate goals, and strive to achieve them. Courage and determination can get each of us to the summit of our dreams.