Octogenarian Tries to Become Oldest to Climb Everest

mount everest
Mount Everest in the Himalayas.

Eighty-year-old Yuichiro Miura hopes to become the oldest person to reach the peak of Mount Everest when he attempts his third ascent this May, Agence France-Presse reports.

Miura first reached the summit of the 29,029-foot (8,848 meters) peak in 2003 at age 70, then conquered the notorious mountain again at 75. He was beaten to the record of oldest person to reach the summit of Everest by Min Bahadur Shercha, a 76-year-old Nepalese man who climbed to the peak one day before Miura in 2008 and is the current record-holder.

While achieving a third summit would return the record to Miura, he doesn't seem concerned about keeping it.

"I don't care much about the world record," he told AFP. "The record is there for someone else to beat."

Complicating the climb is the fact that Miura has arrhythmia, an abnormal or irregular heartbeat. He underwent surgery to correct it in November and January, the AFP reported.

While Miura sets out to break the age record, he already holds another Everest title, becoming the first person to ski down the mountain in 1970, setting off from a point 8,000 meters (26,000 feet) up the Southern Col route.

The youngest person to climb Mount Everest was 13-year-old Jordan Romero, who scaled the peak in 2010.

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Andrea Thompson
Live Science Contributor

Andrea Thompson is an associate editor at Scientific American, where she covers sustainability, energy and the environment. Prior to that, she was a senior writer covering climate science at Climate Central and a reporter and editor at Live Science, where she primarily covered Earth science and the environment. She holds a graduate degree in science health and environmental reporting from New York University, as well as a bachelor of science and and masters of science in atmospheric chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology.