I’m hours away from getting on a plane for Spain, but before I set out I wanted to post one more quick update on the progress of Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki. Yesterday, when we checked in he had reached his high camp on Everest and was preparing to make a summit bid today. But now, we’ve learned that he has turned back and is descending the mountain, although he isn’t quite ready to go home just yet.
Apparently, Nobu reached as high as 7400 meters (24,278 ft) before turning back. He was feeling strong and ready for the challenge of topping out on the world’s highest peak, but encountered deep snow along the route that made it very difficult to make any progress. Exhausted from his efforts, he decided to turn back, and is now safely back down to 5800 meters (19,028 ft) and will descend back to ABC after he has rested there.
According to his Facebook page, Kuriki isn’t giving up on his dream of a solo summit without oxygen however. He’ll now rest up and regain his strength, while waiting for another solid weather window. After that, he’ll weigh his options and hopefully have another go at the summit. That is likely to take place sometime next week at the earliest. Thankfully, he is said to be in good health, feeling strong, and in positive spirits. Perhaps we’ll see him stand on top yet this season.
Finally, we do have an update from the Altitude Junkies today as well. After encountering heavy snow on the summit push last week, the team pulled the plug on their expedition and have now returned to Kathmandu. The group had hoped to summit on October 1, but a surprise storm dumped a meter of snow on the mountain, creating unstable conditions. After assessing the danger of avalanches, the team decided that it was in the best interest and safety of everyone if they left the mountain. Helicopters picked them up a few days back and with the entire squad now safe in the Nepali capital, they’re all preparing to head home.
That’s it for now. I’ll keep an eye on any developments while I’m away. More updates soon.
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