He is going to make it a round half-dozen. For the sixth time, Japanese Nobukazu Kuriki wants to tackle Mount Everest in the post-monsoon season. The 34-year-old says, he is planning to climb the highest mountain on earth solo, without bottled oxygen, this time via the Tibetan north side. Last year Kuriki had tried to reach the summit from the Nepalese south side – and had failed on Everest for the fifth time: He climbed up to 8,150 meters, about 200 meters above the South Col, before he abandoned his summit attempt due to deep snow and strong winds.
In an attempt via the Everest West Ridge in fall 2012, Kuriki had suffered severe frostbite. Nine fingers had to be amputated; only stumps were left – and only one complete thumb. Last spring, the Japanese tried to climb the Annapurna South Face, but didn’t reach far due to bad weather. To finance his new Everest adventure, Kuriki launched a crowdfunding. The targeted amount of the equivalent of almost 160,000 Euros was significantly exceeded.
The Spaniard Kilian Jornet has already traveled to the Himalayas a week ago. As reported before, he also wants to climb Everest from the north, without bottled oxygen – and in a single push. He is targeting an ascent in mid-September. “You need to go for it so if conditions are good and if I’m feeling good, I should try,” said Kilian. “But it’s important to have the patience to wait for this good moment.” Nobukazu Kuriki should also bear that in mind.
The last ascent to the top of Everest in fall dates six years ago: In October 2010, the American Eric Larsen and five Sherpas reached the highest point at 8,850 meters.