23 Mar 2013

80-year-old plans third Everest attempt

6:40 am on 23 March 2013

A thrill-seeking Japanese octogenarian says his third assault on Mount Everest will be the "ultimate anti-ageing" remedy, despite recurring heart troubles.

Yuichiro Miura is preparing to begin his third ascent of the 8848-metre peak in Nepal and recapture a record he previously held for being the oldest person to scale the world's highest mountain.

The 80-year-old heads to Kathmandu next week and is scheduled to begin his climb in May, aiming to repeat a feat he first achieved in 2003 at the sprightly age of 70, AFP reports.

"When I was 75, I did it again and realised nothing is impossible," the adventurer said in Tokyo.

"Making another attempt at 80 will boost my courage, willpower and motivation, bringing the ultimate anti-ageing effect as a result."

His 2003 record was broken in 2007 when fellow Japanese Katsusuke Yanagisawa scaled the summit when he was 71.

Mr Miura conquered Everest for the second time in May 2008, just one day after Min Bahadur Sherchan made it to the top at the age of 76. The Nepalese is the current world record holder, according to Guinness World Records.

"I don't care much about the world record," said Mr Miura, who suffers from heart arrhythmia. "The record is there for someone else to beat."

Yuichiro Miura made world headlines in 1970 when he became the first person to ski down Everest - from an 8000-metre point on the South Col route.

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 own father Keizo skied down Mont Blanc at age 99. The senior Miura died seven years ago, aged 101.