Hirotaka Takeuchis rising sun: Going for his 10th and 11th 8000ers

Posted: Jun 15, 2007 02:09 pm EDT

(MountEverest.net) The Japanese are premier league players in high-altitude climbing. They have achieved some big feats in the Himalayas, such as first ascents, new routes and winter climbs. However, the countrys climbing community is still waiting for the first Japanese to complete the 14, 8000ers quest.

After years with no clear candidate, sights are now setting on one man: Hirotaka Takeuchi, who is attempting GII and Broad Peak this summer. Should he summit both, he would end the season with 11 of the Great 14 under his belt.

Earlier this year, Hiro summited Manaslu (funny enough, a peak first climbed by a Japanese) together with regular climbing mate Ralf Dujmovits.

No child's game: 4 top climbers down to 2

Bagging his ninth 8000er, Hiro Takeuchi stepped up to the top of the Japanese rankings of 8000ers summiteers, sharing the post with Osamu Tanabe, Shuji Nazuka and Noboru Yamada.

Tanabes latest climb was on the south face of Lhotse last year, which he climbed in winter conditions but without reaching the summit. Noboru Yamada sadly perished on Denali in 1989, while Shuji Nazuka was lost on Annapurna in 2004.

K2/Everest at 25

At only 36, Hiro has plenty of time to make the quest. The most noticeable difference in his upcoming expedition compared to previous climbs will be climbing without Ralf and Gerlinde, who are attempting K2. As for Hiro, he summited the savage mountain already back in 1996, when he was just 25 years old.

Born in Tokyo in 1971, Hirotaka Takeuchi summited Everest and K2 back to back in 1996 at the age of 25. At the time, he became the youngest person to have summited the two tallest peaks on Earth. He next went on to summit Makalu, Nanga Parbat, Annapurna, GI, Shisha Pangma (first traverse), Kangchenjunga, and latest Manaslu. Hiro met Ralf Dujmovits on Nanga Parbat.

This summer Hiro is attempting Broad Peak and GII. Should he succeed, he would have just Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Dhaulagiri to go in order to finish the 14x8000er quest.


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Often climbing mate of Ralf and Gerlinde, Hiro celebrated his own special success yesterday.
Image by Amical Alpin courtesy Amical Alpin