Body of One of the Missing Japanese Climbers Found on Spantik

Rescuers have found the body of one of the Japanese climbers who went missing last Monday on Spantik, in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan’s Karakoram. The search continues for the second climber.

Ryuseki Hiraoka and Atsushi Taguchi reached Camp 2 at 5,300m on Spantik (7,027m) on Monday. They were heading for the summit on the following day but had not returned. Neither had returned to Camp 2 when a second Japanese team arrived there on Tuesday.

A helicopter spotted at least one of the climbers lying motionless in the snow on Thursday (check the video below). Conditions prevented the pilots from landing or hovering in the area.

A rescue team was then assembled. It included members of the second Japanese team and three high-altitude climbers from Sadpara village, who were airlifted to the Spantik base camp by the army helicopters, authorities told the Dawn newspaper. The team climbed to Camp 2 on Friday and reached the deceased climber today, some 300m below Camp 3.

The victim’s identity has not yet been made public. Both Taguchi and Hiraoka are experienced climbers. Hiraoka, in particular, is a well-known Japanese mountain guide. He has summited Everest five times and climbed several other 8,000’ers and many peaks in the Andes and the Pamirs.

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.