Sole Japanese climber abandons Everest bid near South Col

KATHMANDU: Sole Japanese climber – Nobukazu Kuriki – who reached the final camp of the world highest peak on Sunday announced that he abandoned his first attempt to climb Mt Everest after finding it very tough to move up to the deep snow in the autumn season.

“I realised if I kept going, I wouldn’t be able to come back alive, so I decided to descend,” Kuriki shared, saying that he tried hard taking all his energy but it took too much time to move in deep snow above the Camp IV ( 7,700 m).

According to him, he left final camp at around 8 pm on Saturday for a rare autumn summit push but failed to move up. “Thank you so much for all your support. I appreciate you all from bottom of my heart,” Kuriki who gave up his fifth attempt after four unsuccessful autumn climbing attempts in the previous years. Kuriki also lost his nine fingers to frostbite in 2012 before abandoning final summit push.

Kuriki who was spported by a photographer – Masaru Kadotani and a few Sherpas up to Camp II decided to head to the top of the peak without support staff and supplemental oxygen. “I am so happy to be able to challenge again to Mt Everest even after I lost nine fingers to frostbite while I want to reach the summit and share my adventure with many people by live webcasting,” he earlier shared after leaving for Camp I through the treacherous icefall section from the base camp on September 16.

According to Tika Ram Gurung, Managing Director at Bochi Bochi Treks in Kathmandu, his client (Kuriki) is descending to lower camps and he will probably stay at Camp 2 on Sunday. According to him, Kuriki was at Camp III on Friday after taking rest for two days at Camp II. “Kuriki had a dream to successfully climb the world highest peak at a time when the world is marking world tourism day on Sunday,” he added.

The government provided US$ 25,000 to Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee to employ its icefall doctors to fix ropes and ladders in the climbing route in the autumn season to facilitate sole Japanese Everest aspirant.

Icefall doctors also placed 20 ladders in the central section of the icefall route which was struck by multiple avalanches in the last two seasons, according to leading icefall doctor Ang Kami Sherpa, who was with his four colleagues at base camp.

Mt Everest has recorded only three successful autumn summits in the last 15 years.

According to the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, American climber Eric Larsen and his team made it to the top of the world highest peak in autumn of 2010 while American climber Dave Hahn-led team and Slovenian extreme skier Davo Karnicar summitted Mt Everest in 2006 and 2000 respectively.

The DoT issued climbing permits for over 300 mountaineers representing different 54 expeditions while it has been reviewing 14 more permit files for the autumn season. Worldwide mountaineers would try to climb different 30 peaks including Mt Aichyn (6,055m), Mt Makalu I (8,463m) and Mt Lhotse (8,516m), Gyanendra Shresha, an official at DoT said.

“Over 106 mountaineers along with their support staff and guides who headed to Camp I on Mt Manaslu on Sunday will make final summit push in the next couple of days,” he said.