AFP

KATHMANDU

A Japanese climber with only one finger due to frostbite, who last month failed to reach the top of Mount Everest, will make his final push for the summit late Wednesday, organisers said.

Nobukazu Kuriki, who lost nine fingers on the mountain in 2012, is the only climber trying to scale the world’s highest peak this year after an earthquake-triggered avalanche killed 18 people at base camp. The April disaster saw hundreds of climbers abandon their bids to ascend the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) mountain, marking a second spring season with virtually no one reaching the summit.

An avalanche in 2014 that killed 16 Nepali guides also sparked a shutdown that year. “He has reached the last camp and will start his climb to the summit tonight,” said Tikaram Gurung, managing director of Bochi-Bochi Trek, which is handling Kuriki’s expedition. He will ascend overnight into the “death zone” - located above 8,000 metres, notorious for its difficult terrain and thin air - and summit around dawn on Thursday, Gurung told AFP.