Another Japanese Climber Dies on Spantik

Spantik, one of Pakistan’s most popular 7,000m peaks, is taking a heavy toll on climbers this season. Three have died on the 7,027m peak so far. All of them were skilled mountaineers from Japan.

The latest casualty was Hiroshi Onishi, who fell into a crevasse while descending from the summit on July 1. He was extracted from the glacier but died of his injuries shortly afterward.

Onish, 64, was vice-president of the Nagano Prefectural Alpine Association and a long-time high school mountaineering club instructor, Shinmai reports. He was leading a team of university students on their first 7,000m experience.

Onishi’s death happened two weeks after Atsushi Taguchi and Ryuseki Hiraoka disappeared during their summit push from Camp 2. Rescuers found Hiraoka’s body days later some 200m below the camp but turned up no trace of Taguchi. The search was eventually called off.  The three Japanese are the first casualties of the Pakistan climbing season.

Spantik is one of the easier 7,000’ers in Pakistan, thanks to its relative lack of objective hazards and the short (three-day) hike in. It is popular both as a goal in itself and as an acclimatization climb before other peaks. A German team made its first ascent in 1955, and it has several routes to the summit.

Angela Benavides

Angela Benavides graduated university in journalism and specializes in high-altitude mountaineering and expedition news. She has been writing about climbing and mountaineering, adventure and outdoor sports for 20+ years.

Prior to that, Angela Benavides spent time at/worked at a number of local and international media. She is also experienced in outdoor-sport consultancy for sponsoring corporations, press manager and communication executive, and a published author.