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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 May, 2003, 11:35 GMT 12:35 UK
70-year-old claims Everest record
A 70-year-old Japanese man has become the oldest person to climb Mount Everest.

Yuichiro Miura
I have finally managed to stand on the summit of the Everest, the highest place on Earth.
Yuichiro Miura

Yuichiro Miura made it to the top of the world's highest peak a week before the 50th anniversary of the first ascent.

Mr Miura, his son and seven others reached the summit via the south-east ridge route taken by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953.

The headmaster and former professional skier from Sapporo was one of 31 people to scale Everest on Thursday, Nepal's Tourism Ministry says.

Mr Miura said it was a dream come true.

"I want to thank everybody, including the sherpas," a statement said.

He shattered the record previously held by another Japanese man, Tomiyasu Ishikawa, who was 65 when he conquered Everest in May last year.

Strong winds

A record number of people are on the mountain to mark the anniversary.

A mountaineering team waits for better weather to reach the summit
Poor weather has delayed the ascent of some teams
But until successful ascents from the north side on Wednesday, bad weather had thwarted all attempts this year.

A BBC correspondent at Everest Base Camp says there have been fears that the large numbers climbing at the same time could create the potential for disaster.

The first person to reach the top from the south side was a Sherpa with the Nepalese and Indian army expedition, followed by seven climbers from the team.

Among others who made it to the summit were two members of an Irish expedition, as well as a group of Belgian climbers and a Frenchman.

A member of the British Royal Marines expedition reached the top from the north side, but the rest of the team has now abandoned all further attempts while they help in a rescue operation for two injured climbers.

The weather is now closing in and a number of other groups have postponed their attempts for a few days.


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