Japanese Climber Dies Attempting Unnamed Peak in Pakistan

After each climbing season, news trickles in from interesting expeditions that avoided the limelight. Sadly, today’s news from the Karakorum is not the kind we like to break. A climbing accident has taken the life of Japanese climber and mountain guide Shinji Tamura.

Tamura and his partner Takayasu Semba were attempting the first ascent of an unnamed 6,800m peak. Climbing in alpine-style in the Kande Valley of Ghanche district in Pakistan, the climbers suffered an accident on August 11. Tamura disappeared, and Semba is injured.

A three-day search

Umer Vaqar, the Ghanche Deputy Commissioner, told Dawn that the two Japanese climbers slipped from their rope and fell from a height of 5,300m, injuring both men. Tamura’s injuries were serious.

Semba sustained minor injuries and was able to move Tamura to a tent. Semba then descended to base camp to ask for help. According to a local newspaper, a ground rescue team from Hushe Valley was dispatched to aid the stranded climber.

However, despite searching the area for the last three days, the rescue team was unable to find Tamura. It is possible that he fell into a crevasse trying to descend solo during the night. Authorities stopped the search yesterday.

The expedition’s local organizer says that Semba’s condition is stable. A Pakistan Army helicopter airlifted Semba to Skardu from base camp.

Shinji Tamura and Takayasu Semba attempting the first ascent of Bondit Peak in the Karakoram in 2021. The photo is at about 5,500m on the northeast spur.

Shinji Tamura and Takayasu Semba attempting the first ascent of Bondit Peak in the Karakoram in 2021. Photo taken from about 5,500m on the northeast spur. Photo: Shinji Tamura


A long climbing resume

Tamura and Semba often target alpine-style first ascents. On a recent expedition in 2021, the duo attempted the first ascent of Bondit Peak (subsequently summited for the first time by a Hungarian team last summer).

Born on August 14, 1966, Tamura was an excellent mountain guide and photographer. Unfortunately, his 57th birthday ended in the saddest way when the search operation ended. Tamura moved to Zermatt, Switzerland, in 1989, and in 1997 he established Active Mountain, a small travel agency in Zermatt.

Since 2003, Tamura has been working as a high-altitude mountain guide for Himalayan Experience. He was an experienced climber, with expeditions on Everest (he summited it four times), Manaslu (four times), and Cho Oyu (three times). He piled up expeditions in other areas of the Himalayas and Karakoram too, on Broad Peak, Ama Dablam, Tawoche, Lobuche, Bondit Peak, Laila Peak, and Thamserku. Elsewhere he climbed Aconcagua, Denali, Mount Logan, and Vinson in Antarctica.

Kris Annapurna

KrisAnnapurna is a writer with ExplorersWeb.

Kris has been writing about history and tales in alpinism, news, mountaineering, and news updates in the Himalaya, Karakoram, etc., for the past year with ExplorersWeb. Prior to that, Kris worked as a real estate agent, interpreter, and translator in criminal law. Now based in Madrid, Spain, she was born and raised in Hungary.