An 86-year-old Japanese alpinist and professional skier Yuichiro Miura has given up on his attempt to conquer the 6,959-meter Mt. Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America, on doctor's orders, his office said Monday.
"I was confident that I could climb to the top, but decided to follow the doctor's order," Miura was quoted as saying by the office. The alpinist, who had reached the camp Plaza Colera at about 6,000 meters, is in good health and has already descended the mountain, the office said.
(Yuichiro Miura, right, pictured on Jan. 17, 2019.)[Photo courtesy of Miura Dolphins Co.]
Miura, who became the oldest person to conquer Mt. Everest at age 80 in 2013, had been waiting at Plaza Colera since Friday local time for favorable weather conditions. He summited Aconcagua, whose peak is located in Argentina, in 1985.
But Miura's doctor Kazue Oshiro, who accompanied him on the journey, concluded he was physically taxed from the long stay at the 6,000-meter altitude and climbing even higher could trigger heart failure.
The climber left Japan on Jan. 2 and had acclimatized his body at a base camp at 4,200 meters since Jan. 10. After arriving at the 5,580-meter-level from the camp by a helicopter on Friday, he climbed to Plaza Colera on foot.
"Biologically speaking, this altitude was the limit for an 86-year-old climber. I made the decision to order him to descend the mountain so that he can return home alive," Oshiro said.
Miura's son Gota, 49, who was with his father for the attempt on Aconcagua, added,"(The ascent to the summit) appeared to be difficult both physically and mentally," according to the office.
"A few hours ago, he was determined to climb the mountain, saying over the phone he was feeling 'never better,'" said Miura's daughter Emiri, 58, at the office. "I think (my father) is the one who is most disappointed."
In 2003 and 2008, at age 70 and 75, Miura successfully reached the 8,848-meter summit of Mt. Everest. He returned to the peak again in 2013 to set the record as the oldest to do so after recovering from a serious injury sustained in a skiing accident when he was 76 and heart surgeries for an irregular heartbeat.