Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Monday 2 October 2023 Dublin: 13°C
# Against the odds
This man has lost nine fingers to frostbite ... and he's trying to climb Mount Everest
Nobukazu Kuriki lost nine fingers to frostbite in 2012 on Everest. He is the only climber trying to summit the world’s highest mountain this year.

12003977_1024882477544069_2026492789452626463_n Nobukazu Kuriki, / Facebook Nobukazu Kuriki, Nobukazu Kuriki, / Facebook / Facebook

A JAPANESE CLIMBER with only one finger, who failed on the weekend to reach the top of Mount Everest in his latest attempt, will try again within days, expedition organisers said today.

Nobukazu Kuriki, who lost nine fingers to frostbite in 2012 on Everest, is the only climber trying to summit the world’s highest mountain this year after a quake-triggered avalanche killed 18 people at base camp.

The April disaster saw hundreds of climbers abandon their bids to ascend the 8,848-metre peak, marking a second spring season with virtually no one reaching the summit.

An avalanche in 2014 that killed 16 Nepali guides also sparked a shutdown that year.

Fifth attempt to climb the mountain

The 33-year-old Kuriki, who was on his fifth attempt to climb Everest, descended in the early hours of Sunday fearing he would not return alive if he kept climbing.

shutterstock_84003574 Shutterstock / Galyna Andrushko Shutterstock / Galyna Andrushko / Galyna Andrushko

“He is staying at base camp for a few days but will try again for the summit starting October 1st,” said Tikaram Gurung, managing director of Bochi-Bochi Trek, which is handling Kuriki’s expedition.

“He is in good physical condition and experienced no major problems on the climb,” Gurung told AFP.

Kuriki will climb solo from base camp, in contrast to his earlier attempt when a six-person support team accompanied him to Camp 2 at a height of 6,400 metres, he said.

“He will use no bottled oxygen on his climb,” Gurung added.

11986548_1015793615119622_8100586569979421046_n Nobukazu Kuriki / Facebook Nobukazu Kuriki, Nobukazu Kuriki / Facebook / Facebook

Chance of avalanches 

The risks are higher than normal at the moment on Everest because of regular aftershocks in Nepal which increase the chance of avalanches.

Mountaineering experts also say climbing in autumn is more dangerous than spring due to high winds and lower temperatures.

Kuriki said the final stretch to the top took too long on Sunday.

“I tried hard taking all my energy, but it took too much time to move in deep deep snow. I realized if I kept going, I wouldn’t be able to come back alive, so I decided to descend,” he posted on his official Facebook page.

12038564_1024882484210735_5294865102550529354_n Nobukazu Kuriki / Facebook Nobukazu Kuriki / Facebook / Facebook

Operators Himex and Altitude Junkies have also delayed their plans to summit Nepal’s Manaslu peak, the world’s eighth-highest mountain, citing waist-deep snow and exposure to avalanches en route to Camp 4, the final camp before the summit.

Mountaineering is a major revenue-earner for impoverished Nepal, home to eight of the world’s 14 peaks over 8,000 metres.

But the April 25 earthquake which killed nearly 8,900 people raised fears for the immediate future of the tourism industry.

Apart from the Everest avalanche, it also destroyed the popular Langtang trekking route.

Read: Man tries to burn spider with a lighter… in a petrol station>

Read: Under 15 Irish basketball team called ‘outrageous’ names in racist online rant>

Associated Foreign Press
Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.