Former Grand Prix driver Ukyo Katayama has achieved one of his lifetime ambitions by climbing to the summit of Manaslu, the world's eighth highest mountain.
The Japanese, who is a keen mountaineer, failed in his first attempt to climb the 8163-metre mountain in 2004 but finally succeeded earlier this month.
"I'm very happy to scale the mountain in this special year that marks the 50th anniversary of the first ascent of the mountain by the Japanese, as the mountain has been familiar to me since childhood," Katayama told the Yomiuri Shimbun.
Katayama, who raced in 97 Grands Prix, suffered for his achievement though ,after getting frostbite in all 10 toes. He had no feeling in them for a fortnight after the climb.
"I was able to confirm my strength as a climber through this experience. My frostbitten toes are getting better. I'm all right," he explained.
Although Katayama's recent exploits have revolved around adventure treks, he will return to motorised competition next year when he takes part in the Dakar Rally in a car powered by biomass fuel - made from used cooking oil.
"Limitless consumption of fossil fuel is a problem. Cooking oil used to fry tempura is, of course, not a comprehensive solution, but we have to move forward somehow," he said.