An 80-year-old Japanese climber has launched his bid to become the oldest person ever to reach the summit of Mount Everest, his management office said today.
If all goes as planned, Yuichiro Miura will conquer the world's highest peak around May 24 to break the record held by Nepali climber Min Bahadur Sherchan, who achieved it in 2008 at 76.
It has been reported, however, the Nepalese is also bidding to scale the mountain at the age of 81 to defend his record.
Miura left the Everest base camp located at 5,300 meters at 5:15 am local time for the 8,848-meter peak, along with his second-eldest son Gota, 43, and their Sherpas, according to an e-mail received by the office in Tokyo.
"I feel better than ever," Miura said ahead of the start in a phone call to the office.
"My condition is better than when I was 70 and 75," the ages when he previously reached the summit. The weather has been much nicer than forecast," he added.
Miura arrived at the base camp on April 16.
He was seriously injured in a skiing accident in 2009 and underwent heart surgery twice following a recurrence of arrhythmia last autumn.
Even after those operations, Miura continued his rehabilitation by walking with weights on each ankle and riding a bike for long distances.