Five holidays climbers die in Japan

Posted: May 7, 2014 by kirisyko in Climbing, High altitude mountaineering, News
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At least five climbers have died in Japan over a long weekend of public holidays during which mountaineers traditionally flock to difficult peaks, police say.

A 69-year-old housewife was confirmed dead after she fell about 50 metres from a ridge on the 1423-metre Mount Arafune in Gunma prefecture on Tuesday, local police said on Wednesday.

Separately, two men, a 68-year-old medical worker and a 46-year-old banker, were found dead on Tuesday after their three-strong party got caught in bad weather.

The three made an emergency call on Monday night saying they had lost their way on the 3190-metre Mount Okuhotakadake in Gifu prefecture.

‘The weather was bad and they lost their way…. They tried to bivouac, but their shelter was blown off by a strong wind,’ police officer Hideki Shibata told AFP, adding it appeared the cold might have killed them.

Two men, a 19-year-old National Defence Academy student and his 29-year-old adviser, were found dead after falling up to 400 metres from a ridge on the 3110-metre Mount Karasawadake, Shibata said.

Both mountains are part of the Northern Alps of Japan, popular for its natural beauty but also known for its difficulty, with both still covered in snow.

Unconfirmed media reports said a 23-year-old soldier was found unconscious after falling while climbing Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest peak. Jiji Press and other media said he had subsequently died.

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