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with Stefan Nestler

Everest autumn climbers this time in spring

Kuriki (2nd from l.) in Everest Base Camp

Actually, both wanted to return to the highest mountain on earth next fall. But the Chinese put a spoke in their wheels. The authorities in Tibet will not issue any permits for Mount Everest in fall 2017. For this reason, the Japanese Nobukazu Kuriki as well as the Spaniard Kilian Jornet join the crowd of those who want to climb Everest from the Tibetan north side this spring. The 34-year-old Kuriki has already arrived in Chinese Base Camp at 5,200 meters. Kuriki has announced that he wants to climb up to 7,500 meters on the normal route. Subsequently, he wants to try again to climb through the North Face, solo and without bottled oxygen.

Seventh attempt

Kuriki in the Everest North Face last fall

Last fall, Kuriki had capitulated at an altitude of 7,400 meters before the snowmasses in the wall. It had been his first attempt on the north side of the mountain. Previously, he had failed five times on the Nepalese south side, always in fall. In an attempt via the West Ridge in 2012, he had suffered such severe frostbite that nine of his fingers had to be amputated, only stumps were left. “It’s not over yet,” Kuriki announced almost defiantly before his now seventh attempt.

Speedy to the summit?

Kilian Jornet on Everest in 2016

Kilian Jornet still has all his fingers. The 29-year-old Catalan had failed last fall at his first attempt on Everest. Kilian had originally planned to climb the highest mountain in a single push after acclimatization, from the Rongbuk Monastery (located about 30 kilometers from the Advanced Base Camp below the North Col), speedy, without bottled oxygen and Sherpa support. However, this had not happened. According to his own information, he had ascended with his companions on the normal route up to 7,950 meters when the snowmasses on Everest had stopped also him.

With his girlfriend

Kilian Jornet

His plan has not changed. For the time being it remains Jornet’s secret how he wants to realize his speed ascent if so many summit aspirants will be on the mountain as this spring. Again Jornet is accompanied by the Spanish top climber Jordi Tosas. The team also includes Kilian’s girlfriend, the Swedish mountain runner and ski mountaineer Emelie Forsberg. Their trip will start next weekend.


20. April 2017 | 20:55