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with Stefan Nestler

Decisive phase of Kuriki’s Everest summit attempt

Nobukazu Kuriki

Nobukazu Kuriki

He is hell-bent. “I think the chance is there because the wind is weak”, Nobukazu Kuriki reported via Facebook from his Camp 3 at 6,800 meters in the North Face of Mount Everest. The Japanese wants to reach the summit solo and without bottled oxygen, in the upper part of the wall via the Hornbein Couloir. “The oxygen saturation of my blood is 81 percent and very stable,” the 34-year-old climber said and announced that he would continue to climb up still that Thursday evening (local time). If everything goes smoothly, he believes that he can possibly reach the summit on early Friday evening (local time). For Saturday, according to Kuriki, bad weather is expected.

With nine finger stumps

Everest North Face

Everest North Face

The Japanese has already proved in 2012 that he is ready to go to the extreme if necessary. At that time, he suffered severe frostbite during a solo attempt via Everest West Ridge, where he, in his own words, had reached an altitude of about 8,000 meters. He had lost nine of his ten fingers. However, Kuriki returned to Everest, with his nine remaining finger stumps and only one intact thumb. The current attempt is already his sixth on the highest mountain on earth, all of them in fall season. In 2015, Nobukazu climbed up to 8,150 meters on the normal route on the Nepalese south side of Everest before deep snow and strong winds had forced him to turn around. “I will enjoy climbing including all the hardship that comes with it,” he had written to me before. Will he this time be rewarded for his perseverance? Hopefully he will not overwind the screw.


6. October 2016 | 18:16