I was saddened this morning to read of the passing of climbing legend Takashi Ozaki high on Everest.
A legendary climber, Ozaki recorded some amazing ascents during his career, including Everest, Broad Peak, Manaslu, Lhotse, Makalu, Shishapangma, and Kangchenjunga. He climbed 6 of the world's fourteen 8000 meter peaks in winter, and also made the first full ascent of Everest's North Face, linking the Japanese Couloir to the Hornbein Couloir with partner Tsuneo Shigehiro to the summit on May 10, 1980.
In addition to the big peaks, Ozaki was an explorer. In 1995, he made the first climbing reconnaissance of the remote Hkakabo Razi in northern Myanmar (Burma). He returned to the region in 1996 and made the first ascent of the 19,294 foot peak with local climber Niyama Gyaltsen. Read Stephen Brookes' article on Ozaki's adventures in Myanmar here.
From the sounds of it, Ozaki was high on the Southeast Ridge of Everest when he began showing signs of pulmonary edema. He collapsed on the descent, and died soon thereafter. Ozaki was 59, and will be missed.