National

Japanese climber rescued in Northern Alps eight days after vanishing on solo trek

Kyodo

A 76-year-old hiker was rescued Friday eight days after setting off alone to explore the Northern Alps, the police said.

Hiroshi Muramatsu was found near Mount Shishidake in Toyama Prefecture in a conscious but weak state, the police said.

Rescuers spotted Muramatsu by helicopter at around 2:40 p.m. on a slope at about 1,740 meters. There are no hiking trails in the area.

According to the police, Muramatsu started his climb on Aug. 24 at Murodo, a popular highland tourism spot surrounded by the Tateyama mountain range. But he never made it to the mountain hut he planned to stay at the first night.

Muramatsu had intended to travel southward and descend to the Shin-Hodaka hot springs in neighboring Gifu by last Sunday or Monday. When his family in Saitama Prefecture told the local police he was missing, the Toyama police launched a search.