An 80-year-old Japanese mountaineer became the oldest person to reach the top of Mount Everest today—though his record may last only a few days. An 81-year-old Nepalese man, who held the previous record, plans his own ascent next week. Yuichiro Miura, who also conquered the 29,035-foot peak when he was 70 and 75, reached the summit at 9:05am local time. Miura and his son Gota made a phone call from the summit, prompting his daughter Emili to smile broadly and clap her hands in footage on Japanese public broadcaster NHK.
"I made it!" Miura said over the phone. "I never imagined I could make it to the top of Mount Everest at age 80. This is the world's best feeling." The climbers planned to take pictures at the summit before starting their descent. The previous oldest was Nepal's Min Bahadur Sherchan, who accomplished the feat at age 76 in 2008. Sherchan, now 81, is preparing to scale the peak next week. Miura conquered the mountain despite heart surgery in January for arrhythmia, his fourth heart operation since 2007. "If the limit of age 80 is at the summit of Mt. Everest, the highest place on Earth, one can never be happier," he said. Everest has been in the news quite a bit lately.