Everest skier Yuichiro Miura, 75, and son Gota Miura, 38, are on Everest summit push. "The biggest challenge this time is how my physical condition, especially my arrhythmia would be at high altitude beyond Camp 2," says Yuichiro (click to enlarge).
Emili Miura, Yuichiro's daughter, reports to ExWeb that her dad and her brother; Yuichiro's second son Gota Miura (age 38) departed Everest Base Camp (5360m) for the summit bid to Mount Everest (8848m) on May 20th at 5:00 am Nepal Time (8:15 am Japan Time). Images courtesy of the expedition (click to enlarge).


Yuichiro Miura, 75, on Everest summit push

Posted: May 21, 2008 03:25 am EDT
(MountEverest.net) Everest skier Yuichiro Miura, 75, became record holder as the oldest Everest summiteer in 2003 at the age of 70. Last year at age 71, Japanese Katsusuke Yanagisawa became the oldest person to summit the peak. Now, Yuichiro Miura is on Everest to reclaim his title.

Miura originally planned to repeat his south side ascent from the north side this time. Miura said, "I would like to join the Chinese team attempting to carry the Olympic torch up to the summit. However, if that is not possible I will go by myself and carry my own torch." And that's exactly what he has been left to do - from the south side once again.

No chance to acclimatize in C3

Emili Miura, Yuichiro's daughter, reports to ExWeb that her dad and her brother; Yuichiro's second son Gota Miura (age 38) departed Everest Base Camp (5360m) for the summit bid to Mount Everest (8848m) on May 20th at 5:00 am Nepal Time (8:15 am Japan Time).

Here goes the press release:

After series of acclimatization trekking in Nepal, Team Miura set up its base camp at Everest Base Camp on April 25th. Since then, Yuichiro Miura had climbed the Icefall twice, stayed a night at Camp 1, 2 nights at Camp 2 for acclimatization, and had descended to Dingboche (4300m) to rest just days before the summit bid.

Schedule for the summit bid is as follows:
May 20th BC (5360m) ¨ C1 (6050m)
May 21st C1 (6050m) ¨ C2 (6450m)
May 22nd C2 (6450m)
May 23rd C2 (6450m) ¨ C3 (7300m)
May 24th C3 (7300m) ¨ C4 (8000m)
May 25th C4 (8000m) ¨ C5 (8300m)
May 26th C5 (8300m) ¨ SUMMIT (8848m) ¨ C4 (8000m)
May 27th C4 (8000m) ¨ C2 (6450m)
May 28th C2 (6450m) ¨ BC (5360m)

Team Miura will be summiting on May 26th if the weather and other conditions such as physical condition permit.

This year, Everest South side (Nepalese Side) experienced strict restrictions due to the Chinese Olympic Torch Relay Expedition on Mount Qomolangma on the North side (Chinese side). The
restrictions prohibited climbing beyond Camp 2 (6450m) until May 10th, which disabled enough acclimatization process (adapting bodies to severe high altitude conditions) necessary for high altitude climbing.

Furthermore, like Team Miura, many expeditions that had originally planned their ascent from the North side had poured into the South side, which resulted in the greatest congestion of people ever at the Everest Base Camp. Thus, the team will be attempting for the summit in a very difficult condition anticipating time limit and huge traffic on the route.

This certainly bears further burden on Yuichiro Miura who is at age 75 and suffers arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), but Team Miura, the four summiting members (Yuichiro Miura, Gota Miura,
Noriyuki Muraguchi, Kazuya Igarashi) and the supporting Sherpas had prepared for this challenge at its best, and start their summit bid today.

Miura's diary
Here goes excerpts from Yuichiro Miura's expedition diary:

May 19th
We are finally departing base camp tomorrow at 5am. It has been almost two months since I departed Japan in March. During this time, I had given up the ascent from the Chinese side due to the Tibetan civil unrest, but will be challenging the Everest from the Nepalese side again as it was in 2003.

Furthermore, the climbing restrictions from the Olympic torch relay had limited our time for enough acclimatization before the summit bid. Yet, we have done our best to prepare ourselves as much as possible.

The biggest challenge this time is how my physical condition, especially my arrhythmia would be at high altitude beyond Camp 2, C3 (7300m), C4 (8000m), C5 (8400m) will greatly affect the climbing plan. Fortunately, although I experienced extreme fatigue, no alarming arrhythmia was observed in previous acclimatization of hard climbing to 6600m point. This fact is definitely a grain of hope.

However, beyond C2, C3, and further up high, unimaginable severe conditions will await me. Itfs a place where many top climbers have lost their lives. Not only mine, but all team members' lives are at stake. Thus, I will expend utmost effort in concentrating on each other's safety among all team
members, one step at a time, and come back down safely.

Expedition Web Site

76-year-old Min Bahadur Sherchan from Nepal also planned to climb Everest this spring from the south side, aided by 12 Nepali Sherpa before returning to a senior home he wants to open after summit. Gagarin's former space engineer and 7-time Snow Leopard Boris Korshunov, latest summited Cho Oyu (8188 m) in 2007 at age 72 and planned to return to Everest north side but decided to postpone the climb for next year due to the Chinese restrictions on climbers.


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