Summiting Everest: The Journey of Nobukazu Kuriki

No Crazy, No Mountain.”

– Nobukazu Kuriki

Nobukazu Kuriki was a Japanese mountaineer who summited six of Seven Summits. The last and the highest peak in the world, Everest (8848.86), remains non-summited on the list forever. Tragically, he lost his life due to illness during his 8th attempt to summit Mt. Everest while descending from Camp Three. Everest is not everyone’s cup of tea!!

Nobukazu Kuriki’s Bio

Nobukazu Kuriki's Cause Of Death In Everest

Imakane, Setana District, Hokkaido, native Nobukazu Kuriki was born on 9th June 1982. He fisnhed his high schoolling at Hokkaido Hiyama Kita. After that, he enrolled at Sapporo International University, majoring in Humanities and Sociology Department of Sociology.

During his university days, Kuriki developed an interest in climbing, eventually pursuing it as a career.

Besides, Kuriki is prominent in Japan, starring in various TV series and TV shows.

Mountaineering Career

Represented by Yoshimoto Creative Agency, Kuriki has summited Denali, Aconcagua, Mount Elbrus, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Carstensz Pyramid, and Mount Vinson. The six of Seven Summit before he turns twenty-six.

Kuriki is familiar with high altitude Himalayas, scaling every once or twice a year. In August 2007, the Japanese climber successfully summited the 6th highest peak in the world, Cho Oyu (8,188m).

In 2009, he climbed the 7th highest peak, Dhaulagiri (8,167m). Subsequently, that same year, he made a big announcement: an attempt to ascent the top of the world, Mt. Everest (8848.86m), via Tibet side. What made the news viral was declaring climbing Everest without the aid of bottled oxygen, going live streaming over the internet. It was unsuccessful, though.

Then, he attempted via the Nepal side the following year but made his way down before reaching above 8,000 meters like previously. In 2011, he returned to Everest for his 3rd attempt but could not set foot in 7,900 meters. Reportedly, his tent poles, along with his supplies and cooking gas, were dug up by Himalayan crows at his final camp.

Nobukazu KurikiIn October 2012, he tried to climb for 4th time but surrendered following harsh weather, which forced him to spend two days in a snow hole at temperatures below -20 °C. The attempt cost him nine of ten fingers after severe frostbite.

In 2014, he successfully climbed Broad Peak (8,047m, adding one to his two previous 8000ers.

But nothing would hold him back from Everest madness; in 2015, Kuriki attempted his 5th try but was again disrupted by the Avalance followed by Earthquake. Though he continued his attempt in 2016 and 2017, the weather did not support him.

In 2018, during Kuriki’s 8th attempt, he died on his way back down from Camp Three. He never gave up!!!


Reportedly, Kuriki was supported by Sherpas and sometimes used supplemental oxygen, contrary to what he advertised of his expedition, “solo without oxygen.” Hence, the mountaineering community did not approve of Kuriki’s style as “solo without oxygen.”

Nobukazu Kuriki’s Cause Of Death In Everest

Nobukazu Kuriki

Attempted solo without supplemental oxygen, Nobukazu Kuriki, aged 35, was found dead on 21 May 2018 at about 6,600 meters. He is survived by his father Toshio.

The climber suffered from a severe cough and fever since his arrival at base camp. That means he already caught a cold.

On 19th May, Kuriki entered the wall and established his tent at 7,400 meters. There he radioed that he was in good shape (reportedly not) and assured to be careful. The following day in the morning, his team informed Kuriki was ill, hence abandoning his attempt and began descending. After that, there was no radio communication.

Later, camera crew members, who were to film Kuriki’s ascent from the slopes of Nuptse, searched for him and finally found him frozen to death. It was reported, Kuriki probably slipped 100 to 200 meters.

Then what exactly is the cause of Nobukazu Kuriki’s death? Due to his illness or accident?

If Nobukazu were with Sherpa guide or at least had used supplemental oxygen, he would have already made Everest history.

Know about other mountaineers:

Who Was The First Person Summit To Everest Without Supplemental Oxygen?

Reinhold Messner mountain career

Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner and his climbing partner Peter Habeler became the first men to climb Everest without supplemental oxygen on May 8, 1978.


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