Home News Four people die before Mount Fuji climbing season begins

Four people die before Mount Fuji climbing season begins


At least one person died while climbing Mount Fuji and the bodies of three others were found on the mountain, police and local media said, just days before the climbing season officially opened.

One of them is a professional rock climber, Keita Kurakami. according to The Patagonia ambassador lost consciousness while climbing Japan’s highest peak, Mount Patagonia, on Wednesday and was pronounced dead at a hospital, local police said, according to Japanese broadcaster NHK.

The three bodies were found three-quarters of the way up the 12,400-foot mountain, all near the crater but in different locations, local police said Wednesday. NHKIt was not immediately clear when the bodies were found. The broadcaster reported that all three victims were believed to be climbers who had reached the summit separately.

Throughout last year, seven deaths were reported on Mount Fuji.

Police in Shizuoka Prefecture, where some routes to Mount Fuji begin, began searching after a woman in Tokyo reported on Sunday that she had lost contact with her 53-year-old husband, who had gone to climb Mount Fuji, police said. The husband left on Friday night and sent a photo taken near the summit to his family on Saturday, but lost contact after that, NHK reported. The man has been identified as one of the dead, Shizuoka police spokeswoman Eriko Takahashi said in an interview on Thursday.

Ms Takahashi said police were still trying to identify the other two bodies but suspected they were a man in his 30s who disappeared in December and another man in his 50s who disappeared in January.

As Mount Fuji’s popularity has grown in recent years, officials have grown increasingly concerned about the overcrowding and dangers of climbing.

There are four routes to the summit. The route in Yamanashi Prefecture will open on July 1, and three routes in neighboring Shizuoka Prefecture will open on July 10, according to the official Mount Fuji climbing association. website.

Outside of the summer climbing season, Mount Fuji is subject to strong gusts of wind and snowstorms, and climbers may fall due to wind force or slip on ice, according to the official Mount Fuji climbing agency. website. According to climbers, toilets and mountain huts are closed during the off-season. website Yamanashi Prefectural Police Department.

Authorities have long worried about climbers who try to reach the summit without staying overnight in huts along the route. Officials say overnight climbs can lead to altitude sickness and hypothermia. warn.

According to NHK, professional climber Mr. Kurakami climbed the mountain from the Yamanashi Prefecture trailhead. Patagonia said in a statement Social Media Posts He suffered a heart attack in 2021, received treatment and continued climbing.

While the number of people climbing Mount Fuji has remained stable at about 200,000 to 300,000 a year over the past decade, the number of people visiting the trailhead and potentially climbing parts of the route has increased from about 3 million in 2014 to 5 million in 2019, according to Yamanashi Prefecture data.

This year’s climbing season, Yamanashi Prefecture Limit the number of hikers per day It will also install a gate at the beginning of the trail that will be closed from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m.

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