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Fingerless Nobukazu Kuriki Attempts Everest and Other Himalayan Expeditions

In 2014, some 1,000 climbers travelled to the Himalayas with big goals in mind, this year only 265 climbers have registered.

The slow start can likely be attributed to the deadly earthquake that shook Nepal in the spring. Despite the slumpish numbers, a number of climbers are making their way into the mountains in more than 40 expeditions.

Some of the more noteworthy attempts are South Korean Sung Taek Hong’s attempt on Lhotse South Face. In 2014, he survived a big avalanche in the same area, watch the video below.

On Dhaulagiri, Yannick Graziani will be attempting the Southwest Pillar in October.

Yannick Graziani is confirmed for Dhaulagiri SW Pillar in October. On Manaslu, Russell Brice recently reported, “The route to camp two seems to be steeper at the bottom but more easy on the upper part, however we did have to put in a four section ladder about half-way up.

“Just as well we brought more ladders at the end of last season. Every year it seems that we need more ladders here on Manaslu and already we have used 11 in order to make the route this year.”

On the mighty Makalu, there is only one team of climbers who are on a climb/ski expedition. Kit DesLauriers had retreated from the trip due to health issues. The rest of the team skied a 1,200-metre run from over 6,800 metres.

On Mount Everest, Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki is back at it for his fifth attempt.

Kuriki first appeared on the scene a number of years ago. In 2012, he made his fourth attempt at soloing the world’s highest peak, which resulted in the loss of most of his fingers.

He reached 7,200 metres on Oct. 13 and made it to 7,500 metres three days later. On the 17th, he made a summit attempt.

Kuriki clasps his hands en route to Everest, which were badly frostbitten in 2012 and required amputation of several fingers.
Kuriki clasps his hands en route to Everest, which were badly frostbitten in 2012 and required amputation of several fingers.

He then spent four days in the death zone and arrived at the base of the Hornbein after poor conditions pinned him down. At 5:30 p.m. on the 18th he had found shelter, but his hands were severely frost bitten and he radioed for a rescue.

On the 20th, he was lowered to camp two and airlifted to the KTM hospital where a number of his injured fingers were amputated.

As of this week, he was busy acclimatizing on Lobuche Peak. According to the BBC, the Icefall Doctors were having a difficult time establishing Khumbu route due to a number of dangerous crevasses opening this year.

Ang Kami Sherpa said, “Camp One appeared to have dropped from its earlier height and much of the equipment left behind by mountaineers in the spring has been buried under thick snow.

“Snow is still piling up in many areas because avalanches having continued in the region probably because the mountain slopes overlooking the Icefall have been shaken by the quake,” he said.

“Now that we have fixed ropes and ladders with all that difficulty, it will not be as difficult for the mountaineers but it will certainly be harder than the usual climb for them.”

Watch raw footage of Kuriki’s press meeting and other expeditions:

Kuriki said that he wanted to attempt Everest in the fall, as there are less people on the mountain. Kuriki will be attempting the peak without supplemental oxygen.

He told the BBC, “When I climb by myself, I can feel things I can’t in a city, and therefore, I learn from nature and grow as a human being.

“It’s not for a record or honour.”

No one has made it to the top of Mount Everest this year as a result of the April 25 earthquake in Nepal, which killed more than 9,000 people.

You can still donate to the Red Cross’s Nepal region earthquake fund to help relief workers who continue to provide assistance, here.

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