KATHMANDU – Japanese comedian Tomoaki Hamatsu, known by the stage name Nasubi, scaled Mount Everest on Thursday, according to an official from the Nepal Tourism Ministry.
Hamatsu, 40, team leader Kenji Kondo, 53, and three other Japanese — Sumio Hibino, Ban Ito and Koki Nishida — successfully climbed the 8,848-meter peak after taking advantage of good weather, said Gyanendra Shrestha from Base Camp.
They did it via the popular southeast ridge route in Nepal, joining a convoy of at least 150 other climbers and Sherpas, making it the busiest day at the summit this season, Shrestha said by phone.
Hamatsu tried to climb the world’s highest peak in 2013 but halted his attempt at 8,700 meters. His plans in 2014 and 2015 were thwarted after the climbing seasons were canceled — the former by an avalanche that killed 16 Sherpa, the latter by an avalanche that killed 18 people after triggered by the April 7.8-magnitude quake in Nepal.
A total of 289 climbers, part of 34 teams, obtained climbing permits this season.
“We had not expected such high climber turnout this year because of back-to-back disasters in the previous two seasons,” said Sudarshan Dhakal, director-general of the Tourism Department.
Spring is considered optimal climbing season because of favorable weather.
Hamatsu, who hails from Fukushima Prefecture, said he wanted to climb Mount Everest as part of efforts to help his hometown recover from the March 2011 nuclear crisis.