Japan man, 80, starts Everest ascent

2013-05-17 09:00
Eighty-year-old Japanese adventurer Yuichiro Miura leaving Base Camp to begin his ascent of Mount Everest in Nepal. (AFP)

Eighty-year-old Japanese adventurer Yuichiro Miura leaving Base Camp to begin his ascent of Mount Everest in Nepal. (AFP)

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Tokyo - An 80-year-old Japanese mountaineer has begun his ascent of Mount Everest, his website said, in a bid to become the oldest man to reach the roof of the world.

In a voice message recorded on his website, Yuichiro Miura said the expedition was setting off on Thursday for a climb that was expected to take a little over a week.

"We plan to stand on the summit on 24 May... We are all doing well, getting in position to tackle the mountain."

Miura is trying to get back a Guinness World Record that he first held in 2003 when he became the oldest man to climb Everest.

That record was beaten in 2007 by a Japanese man who reached the summit at 71 years old.

The title is currently held by Nepal's Min Bahadur Sherchan, who set foot on the 8 848m summit in May 2008 when he was 76.

Veteran adventurer Miura came to worldwide attention in 1970 when he became the first person to ski down Everest. His parachute-aided descent was documented in the 1975 film The Man Who Skied Down Everest which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary.

High-octane endeavours are in his blood - his father Keizo skied down Mont Blanc at age 99.

More than 3 000 people have successfully scaled Everest, but the mountain claims lives regularly, with even the best climbers falling victim to its fickle weather.

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