Climber Yuichiro Miura’s passion for mountaineering began with a simple desire – to lose weight.
At 60 years old, Miura was better known as a daredevil skier. He had skied down the world’s seven highest peaks, including Mount Everest, but had no real experience scaling them.
“After retiring, I was a little bored with nothing to do and got fat,” Miura said. “I thought, if a 60-year-old metabolic fat man, after five years, can get to Mount Everest, that would be very exciting.”
Miura started small. He climbed a 1,640-foot mountain in Sapporo first, then took on Mount Fuji, six times.
He trained by walking in Tokyo every day, wearing 11-pound weights on each ankle, and 44 pounds on his shoulder.
It took 10 years, but Miura successfully reached the summit of Everest at 70 years old with his son Gota, an Olympic skier, by his side. The 2003 trip coincided with the 50th anniversary of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s climb -- they were the first to reach the world’s highest peak.
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