Yuichiro Miura is 86, is a professional skier and is about to climb and ski the highest peak in South America.
“I may give up after giving it a go, but I’ll push myself to the limit and if that limit puts me on the mountaintop, it’s more wonderful than anything else,” he said to asahi.com.
He left Japan on Jan. 2 and will begin his attempt on Jan. 16 after acclimatizing over the next few days. He wants to summit on Jan. 21 and head home on Jan. 31.
Aconcagua is 6,961 meters tall and is in the Andes mountain range in Argentina near the border with Chile. The summit will be cold and the oxygen levels far less than at base camp.
“He needs to carefully adapt himself to high altitudes from the early stages where the altitude is not too high,” said Kazue Oshiro, 51, an international doctor specializing in mountain medicine who will support Miura as team doctor to asahi.com. “We also want to pay attention to dehydration.”
Miura has skied down Mount Everest from 8,000 meters in 1970 and had skied the highest mountains on each of the seven continents in 1985.
At 70, he set a record as the oldest person Everest, which he repeated at 75 and again at age 80.
From the top of Aconcagua, Miura and Gota, his second son, will ski the Polish Glacier to the valley. It will be far more difficult skiing than Everest due to the conditions and crevasses. There will be seven climbers in total.
It’s the austral summer and the dry winds cause viento blanco (white storm) that results in frostbite and hypothermia.
Ten-time Aconcagua summiter Hiroyuki Kuraoka will be the lead guide. Kazuya Hiraide, who twice received the Piolet d’Or will also be on the trip.
Miura said, “I have been challenging myself, thinking each time that, ‘I wouldn’t mind dying if I could get it done.’ This is also a challenge to what others believe is impossible.”
This Oscar-winning documentary tells the story behind Miura’s 1970 effort to ski down the world’s tallest mountain.