Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki has abandoned his bid to be the only person to summit Everest in 2015.
Kuriki, 33, announced his decision to turn around on Facebook, saying, “I tried hard taking all my energy, but it took too much time to move in deep deep snow.”
“I realized if I kept going, I wouldn’t be able to come back alive,” he wrote.
Kuriki was at his final camp and on Saturday made his last push for the summit, but turned around in deteriorating conditions.
Kuriki is the first climber to attempt to summit the world’s highest peak since the earthquake in April that struck Nepal.
“This is the purest form of climbing and it is worth the extra danger,” Kuriki said of climbing alone in the winter.
He has attempted Everest four times in the past six years and in 2012 was trapped in a snow cave at 8,230 metres in freezing temperatures. He descended and was rescued, but lost all of his fingers and one thumb.
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