A Japanese climber who lost all his fingers to frostbite will be the first to attempt to climb Mount Everest since the Nepal earthquake triggered a deadly avalanche on the peak.
Nobukazu Kuriki has been granted a permit to scale the 29,035-foot summit since the April disaster killed 18 climbers. It will be his fifth attempt to conquer Everest.
The 33-year-old said he hoped his solo climb would help renew interest in the country's mountaineering industry, which was vital to its economy before being halted by the quake that killed around 9,000 people across the region.
"I am a bit concerned as no one has been up Mount Everest [for a while], but by going up there I hope people's interest in the mountain is renewed despite the dangers," he told reporters.
Kuriki said he lost all of his fingers to frostbite while previously trying to ascend Everest. He was set to travel to a nearby peak Tuesday to acclimatize to the high altitude, before beginning his ascent on September 15, during the Autumn season usually unpopular because of cold weather and scant daylight.
"Of course, it's scary, but nature is frightening," he said. Kuriki said the loss of his fingers was not a problem, "perhaps really only when I try to tie my shoelaces."