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3 missing climbers die after being found unconscious on Yamanashi mountain

23 Comments

Three climbers who had been missing since Dec 23 after climbing a mountain near Uenohara, Yamanashi Prefecture, were found Tuesday morning. All three were in a state of cardio pulmonary arrest and were airlifted to hospital where they were confirmed dead, Fuji TV reported.

Families of the three — two women, both 71, and a man, 70 — had not been able to contact then since they failed to return home. A local resident contacted local authorities at around 8 a.m. Monday after spotting a vehicle with an out-of-prefecture license plate in a parking lot near the entrance to Mt Tsuboyama’s climbing trail.

Police said the two women are from Tokyo and the man is from Chiba Prefecture. They had only planned to spend the day on Saturday climbing.

A search on Monday turned up no clues. On Tuesday morning at around 10:30 a.m., they were found unconscious on a slope on the western side of the mountain at an altitude approximately 1,100 meters above sea level.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to show that the climbers died.

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23 Comments
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Three people side by side all having heart attacks! Hope they survive and come around.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Not exactly sure why, but when they find recently dead people this is how they report it. It has sonething to do with paramedics not being allowed to say people are dead.

To be clear, they were almost certainly dead when found.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Im all for staying fit as you get older but ill be hanging my axe up a bit early the 70's i think. Maybe one got sick and other other two would not leave him. Cold at night hope the fell asleep peacefully. RIP

0 ( +4 / -4 )

They use the term as a person isnt dead until a coroner says so.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

"Cardio pulmonary arrest" is common jargon for "dead but not yet certified so."

Mountains are dangerous, particularly in winter.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Sad news. Late fall and early winter is probably the best time to go up into the mountains west of Tokyo. The ground is dry and you are less apt to slip and fall on the usually wet clay soils much of those mountains have. But, considering the rain Tokyo had on the 24th, I wonder if they were caught in lowering snow levels. Not a particularly high mountain range and never that much snow around Uenohara. Yet at night it can get really cold up there. I climbed up to a 1500m peak on my mountain bike in late September and it was so cold our bodies were making their own clouds of steam. Not to preach, but one should always be prepared for the unexpected. Day hikes can easily turn into dark and cold night hikes. RIP

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Assuming this was planned as a day hike, I guess one of them had an accident or a cardiac event and the other two got involved. It'll be below freezing every night at 1100m, so the trail may have been very slippery, even if snow free. Many places in Japan's mountains are out of mobile phone range, so they may have found themselves unable to call for help.

While in Yamanashi, its very close to Hachioji, so just over the border from Tokyo.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Closer to Takao than Hachioji, but we don't have all the details so people make up their own scenarios. :(

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thanks for the explanations.

Seems a bit ridiculous to me to describe an already deceased person as being in a state of cardio pulmonary arrest as that is a form of heart attack.

Isn’t it far more likely that the elements in late December did them in? They went on Saturday and were found Tuesday.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Most of the time in the news they DO report someone as being deceased when it’s obvious. They don’t wait for the coroner and make up another term like some have said.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@jansob1 it's because only an MD can declare someone dead. Reporters and police cannot (officially).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It would be interesting to read a follow up story.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

being frozen rock solid will tend to give you "cardio pulmonary arrest "

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kobe White Bar Owner, the mountains in and around Tokyo are impressively filled with seniors. Such a contrast to the mountains in the parts of the US that I frequented, that is, when I saw anyone at all. I can only hope I can still enjoy the mountains at 70, let alone being alive at all. Egads, that's only 20 years from now! I say more power to them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Local law, not everyone can certify a death.

EMS can call it but not official till certified by ...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They use the term as a person isnt dead until a **coroner says so. ** strange that a gunshot wound to the head ,decapitation, incineration would also have "cardio pulmonary arrest" as the state of all corpses. Actually a corpse isnt a corpse until the coroner/doctor says so!? captain obvious is a common attendee at crime/accident scenes throughout Japan

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A coroner is involved after they are pronounced dead by a doctor.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

thepersoniamnow: "Three people side by side all having heart attacks! Hope they survive and come around."

It means they are dead. Japan still lives in the 1960s when it comes to training actual emergency staff and being able to call deaths. Even if the people were crushed to pulp they could not call them dead unless they are a "certified official". Paramedics in Japan are trained to hold your hand, and that's all. They can't call it a death, and have to take it to a hospital where a doctor can. Hence, dead people are in cardiac arrest for days.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“A bit ridiculous” Nay, utterly farcical! A doctor’s authorization is necessary before death can be called that, yet no such stipulation applies in the case of cardiac arrest! Who makes up this nonsense? And why are so few bothering to call it out for what it is, a dangling of false hope that three cardiac arrest cases might miraculously recover, or worse, sheer mockery.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This "cardio pulmonary arrest" nonsense started only 3 or 4 years ago. May have something to do with a sensationalist news media.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But really, why do people in general risk their lives on such a dangerous activity when they know they might die. And also in weather that makes dying more risky. Only have to look at the dead bodies on Mt. Everest to know that once you go up, you may never return.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It is highly likely they were killed by overnight cold, but the story says they were on a day hike. The issue is then why they could not return before night fall. So something must have happened, they got lost, or one of them had an accident or illness and the others stayed to help.

The Japanese kanji may say "mountain climbing", but in English, these people were hikers. I would expect any trail that close to Tokyo to be well marked enough for people to not get lost - they are many abandoned trails deeper in inaka - but you never know.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

RIP...am guessing that one of the hikers got in trouble and the others stayed to help and succumbed to the elements. People should carry back up emergency communication devices and flares if necessary, even if they are mere hikers!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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