x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Octogenarian Everest climber seeks next challenge

The 80-year-old Japanese mountaineer who last week became the oldest person to reach the top of Mount Everest says he almost died during his descent and does not plan another climb of the world's highest peak, though he hopes to do plenty of skiing.

TOKYO // The 80-year-old Japanese mountaineer who last week became the oldest person to reach the top of Mount Everest says he almost died during his descent and does not plan another climb of the world's highest peak, though he hopes to do plenty of skiing.

Yuichiro Miura, who also conquered the 8,850-metre peak when he was 70 and 75, returned to Japan yesterday looking triumphant but ready for a rest. He was sympathetic toward an 81-year-old Nepalese climber who on Tuesday abandoned his attempt to climb Everest, and break Miura's record, due to worsening weather.

Min Bahadur Sherchan, the Nepalese mountaineer, faced difficult odds due to the brief climbing window remaining after delays in getting funding for his own ascent, Miura said.

"He is to be pitied," said Miura, who had downplayed any talk of a rivalry.

Sherchan became the oldest Everest climber in 2008 at age 76 and held the record until Miura's ascent last week.

The Nepalese climber said he slipped and fell just above the base camp three days earlier, hurting his ribs, so he was airlifted back to Katmandu, where he saw a doctor.

He plans to try again to regain his record, perhaps next year.

Miura and his son Gota, who has climbed Everest twice, said things went well during their expedition because they carefully paced themselves, walking only half-days and resting in the afternoons.