You’ve maybe heard about the woman who summited Mr. Everest twice in a week, and about the U.S. teenager with Down syndrome who made history by hiking 70 miles to Everest Base Camp. But have you heard about the octogenarian who’s made not one, but four trips to the hospital for heart surgery, and who — despite those ailments — wants to become the oldest person to climb the highest mountain the world?
Because why not, right? It’s only a mountain…you know, that’s 29,029 feet above sea level, or the highest point on the planet. But for Yuichiro Miura, an 80-year-old mountain climber from Japan, it’s more a matter of “been there, done that.”
Twice already, that is: Miura summited Everest once in 2003 and again in 2008. As if that weren’t enough, according to Reuters, he even skied down the mountain back in 1970 from a height of over 26,000 feet. If he completes this third attempt to reach the top, he’ll becomes the oldest person in the world to do so, surpassing Min Bahadur Sherchan, a Nepali who set the record aged 76 in 2008.
“The record is not so important for me,” said Miura, speaking to Reuters from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, just before leaving to begin the attempt, adding “It is important to get to the top.”
What about his heart? Miura and the team of nine others accompanying him will include a heart specialist who’ll presumably be keeping a close eye on Miura the entire way. With a little luck, Miura and the team hope to reach the summit in May.