KATHMANDU, Nepal, Sept. 27 (UPI) — A Japanese climber who previously lost nine of his fingers decided to end his attempt to climb Mount Everest on Sunday, citing too much snow.
Nobukazu Kuriki, 33, of Hokkaido, was making his fifth attempt to reach the world’s highest summit. On Sunday, as in each previous attempt, Kuriki was stopped at the South Col, just below the so-called “death zone” where climbers typically make their last push to the summit in air so thin and conditions so harsh, many climbers have been killed.
“I tried hard taking all my energy, but it took too much time to move in deep, deep snow,” he wrote on his Facebook page. “I realized if I kept going, I wouldn’t be able to come back alive, so I decided to descend.”
Kuriki was attempting to summit alone and without oxygen. Experts say climbing without oxygen is extremely dangerous and extremely difficult. Also, trying to climb Everest in the fall is more dangerous than during the spring climbing season because of higher winds and lower temperatures. There have been only three successful autumn summits on Everest in the last 15 years.