Alpinist Chizuko Kono died while climbing in the Himalayas last week. Her death was caused by exhaustion, according to Kono’s Sherpa and Nepalese officials statements made on Tuesday.
Dawa Sherpa, who was with the 66-year-old Kono until her death, said she died last Thursday night at an altitude of 7,700 meters on Mount Dhaulagiri, the seventh highest peak in the world. Dawa tried to give Kono a high concentration of oxygen, but his efforts were not successful.
“It was the biggest tragedy of my life,” he said.
A Spanish climber was killed last week too by an avalanche on the same mountain. Dawa said Kono told him she wanted to continue climbing the mountain despite knowing about the accident involving the Spanish climber, who had been ahead of them, according to Kyodo.
“After that accident, Kono wanted to try to reach the top. We continued our climb last Thursday, but she was too tired to go on. So we abandoned the climb just about 120 meters shy of the summit,” Dawa said.
“Unfortunately, there was too much wind and fog and we could not see the way down as the climbing route we had used to climb up had already been buried by snow,” he said. “We could not reach our tent at Camp 4, located at an altitude of 7,500 meters. Instead, we stayed at 7,700 meters and she died of weakness Thursday night.”
Kono left Japan in April and said would be her final attempt to scale an 8,000-meter-class mountain.