The Oldest to Summit Mount Everest

You would think that when you reach the age of 70 and over you are expected to take things in life a lot easier, not everyone sees it like that though.

Yuichiro Miura

Yuichiro Miura from Japan became the oldest person to reach the top of the world on the 23rd May at the age of 80 in 2013 via the South Col – South East Ridge route.

Yuichiro was born in Aomori the capital of Honshu in Japan on the 12th October 1932. He is the son of skiing legend Keizo Miura. Yuichiro is a professional skier and alpinist.

On the 6th May 1970 he became the first person to ski on the highest mountain in the world, Mount Everest. His descent on skis started at the South Col at an altitude of around 26,000 feet and continued for nearly 4,200 vertical feet. He used a parachute to try and control his speed but he ended up falling and then sliding down the slope. His slide came to a halt just 250 ft from the edge of the crevasse, miraculously he survived to tell the tale of his adventure. The whole descent took around 2 minutes and 20 seconds. This amazing feat was documented and made into an award winning film called ‘The Man Who Skied Down Everest’.

In his later years Yuichiro has had surgery on his heart for an irregular heartbeat and his pelvis and left thigh bone which he broke in a skiing accident.

In 2003 at the age of 70 Yuichiro became the oldest person to stand on the summit of Mount Everest.

At the age of 75 Yuichiro was back on Everest and again became the oldest person to climb to the summit of Mount Everest on the 26th May 2008. But this record only lasted for a day when on the 27th May it was broken by Min Bahadur Sherchan who was aged 76.

In 2013, Yuichiro stood on the summit of Mount Everest yet again at the amazing age of 80 to reclaim the title of the oldest person to stand on the highest mountain on earth.

As of the 31st December 2014 the oldest British male to reach the summit of Mount Everest was Sir Ranulph Finnes at the age of 65. He did so on the 21st May 2009 via the South Col – South East Ridge route.

Yuichiro Miura
Yuichiro Miura © http://miura-everest2013.com

Tamae Watanabe

On the 19th May 2012 Japanese climber Tamae Watanabe, became the oldest woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest at the age of 73 years and 180 days.

Tamae Watanabe was born on the 21st November 1938 in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. Her father was a farmer, when he became ill Tamae helped out after school. Every day she pulled a cart and carried a night-soil bucket on her shoulder, she then cycled 3.73 Miles (6 kilometers) to school.

Tamae started mountain climbing while she worked as a public office employee in Kanagawa, Japan. Before Mount Everest she had climbed some of the most famous mountains on earth, these include Mount McKinley, Mont Blanc, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Eiger, Lhoste and Aconcagua.

It was not until she retired that she reached the summit of Mount Everest on the 16th May 2002 and becoming the oldest woman to do so at the age of 63 years and 176 days old. She had climbed via the South Col – South East Ridge route.

In 2005 Tamae was involved in an accident in which she broke her back. She feared that she would never be able to climb again.

Ten years later on the 19th May 2012 Tamae went back to Mount Everest and broke her old record and again became the oldest woman to stand on the summit of Mount Everest, at the age of 73 years and 180 days old. This time she climbed via the North Col – North East Ridge route.

As of the 31st December 2014 the oldest British female to reach the summit of Mount Everest was Vicky Jack at the age of 51. She did so on the 16th May 2004 via the South Col – South East Ridge route.

Tamae Watanabe
Tamae Watanabe (left) © www.asian-trekking.com