Legendary Japanese climber found dead on Mount Everest

Legendary Japanese climber found dead on Mount Everest

Outdoors

Legendary Japanese climber found dead on Mount Everest

Nepali men carry the body of Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki onto a helicopter after it was recovered from Mount Everest. Photo: ANG TASHI SHERPA/AFP/Getty Images)

Nobukazu Kuriki, a legendary Japanese climber attempting to climb Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen, was found dead Monday morning above Camp II after he went missing the night before as he descended from Camp III.

Kuriki, 36, making his eighth attempt at Everest after seven failures, had sent a radio message to Camp II asking for help as he was suffering from a persistent cough and pain, climbing guide Ashish Gurung told The Himalayan Times.

Japanese mountaineer Nobukazu Kuriki poses with a Nepalese flag after talking in Nepal in 2010. d the seven highest mountains in the seven continents without any oxygen. Photo: PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)

Kuriki went missing Sunday night around 11:30. Gurung explained to the Times that a team of guides from Camp II began an ascent in attempt to locate Kuriki but failed to find him.

“It was impossible to locate him in the night as the radio network disconnected,” Gurung told the Times.

Monday morning the team found Kuriki’s body at 7,200 meters (23,622 feet), which is close to Camp III. The Japan Times reported that Kuriki slipped and fell, and earlier reports said he was found dead in his tent.

A filming crew and four high altitude workers joined Kuriki as he attempted to climb the world’s highest mountain solo from the West Ridge route without supplemental oxygen, the Times reported. But he was alone when he radioed for help from Camp III.

From the New York Times:

The death of the climber, Nobukazu Kuriki, brought the death toll on the mountain to three this month.

“We are in shock,” said Tika Ram Gurung, the managing director of Bochi-Bochi Trek, the climbing company that organized Mr. Kuriki’s trip. “It is a huge loss to the mountaineering world.” …

Before his final summit push on Monday morning, Mr. Kuriki, 36, had updated his social media accounts to say that he was suffering from a cough and fever but that he thought he could continue climbing.

Speaking by telephone from base camp, Gyanendra Shrestha, an official with the Nepalese Ministry of Tourism, said Mr. Kuriki’s body would be airlifted to Kathmandu, the capital, for an autopsy to ascertain the exact cause of death.

“I am here at 7,400 meters now,” Kuriki wrote in one of his final posts on Facebook, The Himalayan Times reported. “Now, I feel the pain and difficulty in this Mountain and I’m up and up. I want to make it very carefully.”

According to Alan Arnette, who writes an extensive climbing blog, this was Kuriki’s 13th attempt on an 8,000-meter peak, all without supplemental oxygen.

“Kuriki-san had become a legend in Japan with his Everest attempts and going so far as to lose [nine] fingers to frostbite [in a 2012 attempt],” Arnette wrote.

“He dreamed of summiting Everest in the autumn—rarely accomplished by any climber—in his unique style of strictly alone and without supplemental oxygen. This was his dream and he never let it go.”

First image: Nepali men carry the body of Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki onto a helicopter after it was recovered from Mount Everest. Photo: ANG TASHI SHERPA/AFP/Getty Images. Second image: Nobukazu poses with Nepalese flag after speaking engagement. Photo: PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images.

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