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Asia, Nepal, Autumn Fatalities

Autumn fatalities. Ayumi Nozawai was one of seven climbers who died this autumn. He was part of a three-man Japanese expedition attempting the west ridge of 7,140m Nemjung. On October 2 the party had reached ca 6,000m, not quite at the start of the west ridge, when a snow avalanche suddenly swept down the mountainside. One member, Nobuteru Kawahara, was untouched, but the other two, who were above him, were caught by it. Kawahara succeeded in digging Hiroytaka Imamura out of the snow, and both searched for Nozawai. They found him not far away, buried almost up to his neck, and when they pulled him out, he was dead. They immediately abandoned the climb. Nozawai had, among others, climbed Api and Gasherbrum I, as well as making an attempt to 6,750m on the unclimbed north ridge of Kula Kangri in Tibet.

As noted elsewhere two climbers fell to their deaths on Raksha Urai. An experienced German professional expedition leader, Robert Rackl, also suffered a fatal fall: he was on Ama Dablam, and the probable cause was the breaking of a fixed rope. Avalanches swept to their deaths two South Koreans, Hwang Sun-Dug and Park Joo-Hoon, on Lhotse Shar. The leader of a Greek Cho Oyu team, Christos Barouchas, died of altitude sickness.

Elizabeth Hawley, Nepal