Nobukazu Kuriki, a Japanese alpinist who attempted to be the first person to summit Everest after the Nepal earthquake last April, was forced to descend on Saturday, according to CNN. Kuriki has attempted to climb the world’s tallest peak four previous times. He lost nine fingers to frostbite while waiting out a storm during his 2012 attempt. Though he wanted to prove that the mountain was still climbable, the 33-year-old mountaineer said he could not continue without assuming an unacceptable risk.
“I realized if I kept going, I wouldn’t be able to come back alive,” Kuriki told CNN. “It took too much time to move in deep deep snow.”
As Outside reported last week, many experts had doubts from the beginning about Kuriki’s chances of reaching the summit.