Sound like a pursuit best left to the younger set? Well, some say age is just a number – and seniors have successful Everest bids under their belts to prove it.
Last year, 73-year-old Tamae Watanabe of Japan became the oldest woman in the world to reach the summit of Mount Everest. And this year, 80-year-old Yuichiro Miura of Japan became the world’s oldest man to scale Everest. This is the second time Miura, pictured here, has held the record – he first earned the title of world’s oldest summiteer at age 70 in 2003.
“This is the best feeling in the world,” Miura said in a phone call to his family from the summit. “I never imagined I would become the oldest man to get here, at 80. There’s no greater feeling in life, but I’ve never felt this tired, either.”
A fearless adventurer who has had four heart surgeries to treat recurring arrhythmia, including one just two months before he embarked on his most recent journey, Miura has already decided on his next big adventure. He plans to ski down the Himalayan mountain of Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world, when is 85 years old.
Believe it or not, the Everest record was nearly snatched from Miura this season. Rival climber Min Bahadur Sherchan, age 81, would have snagged the record days after Miura, but was forced to abandon his summit bid because of worsening weather conditions on the mountain. The Nepalese climber was the previous world record holder, summiting Everest in 2008 at age 76. Sherchan and Miura summited within a day of each other that year.
I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of Miura or Sherchan, who could very well be battling it out on the mountain till the very end!