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Japanese Climber Abandons Mount Everest Quest

Japanese climber Nobukazu Kuriki poses with a Nepalese flag during a news conference in Kathmandu, Nepal, Aug. 23, 2015.

Japanese mountain climber Nobukazu Kuriki has failed in his fifth solo attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Kuriki announced on his Facebook page Sunday that "it took too much time to move in deep deep snow. I realized if I kept going, I wouldn't be able to come back alive."

The 33-year-old Kuriki was attempting to climb the world's tallest peak despite losing all of his fingers and one thumb to frostbite after spending two days in a snow hole at 8,230 meters in temperatures lower than -20 C (20 degrees below Celsius) during an attempt in 2012.

He was climbing without the aid of bottled oxygen.

Kuriki was the only climber pursuing the summit this year after an avalanche set off by a massive quake in April that killed more than 9,000 people, including 18 people at base camp, and destroyed Nepal's lucrative climbing industry.

Hundreds of climbers abandon their bids to ascend the 8,848-meter peak, marking a second spring season with virtually no one reaching the summit of the world's highest mountain.

The deaths of 16 Nepali guides in an avalanche in 2014 sparked a shutdown that year.