Climber found dead; pair missing

GIFU (Kyodo) A helicopter retrieved a body Monday from a mountain in Gifu Prefecture where three climbers were reported missing, while seven alpinists were rescued from another Gifu mountain, police said.

The deceased was identified as Mitsuru Honjo, 58, one of three climbers from Kobe who according to their alpine club were unaccounted for on Mount Okuhotakadate on Saturday. The two others are Mikio Zenitai, 52 and nurse Aiko Irie, 58, the police said.

Meanwhile, five men and two women were rescued by chopper from Mount Terachi. They had requested a rescue Sunday after they became unable to move due to heavy snow.

Tetsuo Yamada, 55, one of the rescued climbers and a guide for the party, said there was more snow than forecast.

They started up the mountain Dec. 29, but the weather got worse Thursday, stopping them from making their way down. They survived on one-week’s worth of food they took with them, the police said.

Couple rescued

SHIZUOKA (Kyodo) A couple were rescued by helicopter from a mountain in Shizuoka Prefecture on Monday, police said.

Yoshitaka Kakegawa, 44, and his wife, Hiroyo, 45, from the city of Shizuoka, were rescued from Mount Hijiri.

The couple started up the mountain Dec. 29 with a 34-year-old male friend, but when Hiroyo Kakegawa became unable to walk Saturday, the male friend went down the mountain to seek help.