Nepal | December 09, 2019

Japanese alpinist Kuriki dies while descending from Camp III to Camp II

Rajan Pokhrel

An undated image of Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki.

KATHMANDU: Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki, 36, died while descending to lower camps on Mt Everest last night, rescuers revealed.

According to Climbing Guide Ashish Gurung, rescuers retrieved Kuriki’s body from 7,200 m near Camp II.

Kuriki had gone missing since 11:30 pm after he sent a radio message to his climbing guides at Camp II from Camp III for help, Gurung said. “A team of guides, who left for Camp III immediately after receiving his message, failed to trace him in the high camp,” he added. “Since then, the rescue team hadn’t heard anything from him.”

Kuriki had asked for help as he suffered from persistent cough and pain, Gurung said. “It was impossible to locate him in the night as the radio network disconnected.” According to him, the team found Kuriki’s body above Camp II this morning.

Along with a filming crew and four high altitude workers, Kuriki headed to Mt Everest to attempt to climb the world’s highest mountain solo from the West Ridge route without supplemental oxygen, according to the expedition organiser, “Kuriki was alone at Camp III when he asked for help.”

Earlier reports from the base camp, however, claimed that the alpinist was found dead in his tent at 7,400 m.

Tika Ram Gurung, Managing Director at Bochi Bochi Treks said that Kuriki’s body has been brought to TU Teaching Hospital for postmortem.

(UPDATED)


Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki found dead on Mt Everest

 

This undated image shows Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki.

KATHMANDU: Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki has been found dead at Camp II on Mt Everest this morning, multiple sources at the Mt Everest base camp confirmed.

Sherpa climbers found the 36-year-old Japanese alpinist dead in his camp, a base camp officer told THT over phone. Efforts are underway to airlift Kuriki’s body from the high camp, he added.

According to Tikaram Gurung, Managing Director at Bochi Bochi Treks, Kuriki along with four Sherpa guides had headed to the higher camps to make the final summit push on Mt Everest.

Most of the posts Kuriki shared on his Facebook page indicated that he suffered from cough and cold. “I am here at 7,400 metres now. Now, I feel the pain and difficulty in this Mountain and I’m up and up. I want to make it very carefully,” one of his latest posts read.

Kuriki had given up the seventh bid on Mt Everest last year after six unsuccessful autumn climbing attempts in the previous years as he lost his nine fingers to frostbite in 2012 before abandoning the final summit push in the world’s highest peak. Climbing record shows that Kuriki, who always wanted to follow the alpine style climbing, had also made successful solo attempts on Mt McKinley (2004), Mt Aconcagua, Mt Elbrus, Mt Kilimanjaro in 2005 and Carstensz Pyramid in 2006. Kuriki had also summitted Mt Cho Oyu in 2007 and Mt Dhaulagiri in 2009.

Kuriki reportedly wanted to make a solo attempt on Mt Everest without using Sherpa support and bottled oxygen this season.

Confirming the incident, Gyanendra Shrestha, a liaison officer at the Mt Everest base camp, said the definitive cause of his death has not been ascertained yet.

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