Continuous search and rescue missions found the fourth missing South Korean from the group of climbers who mounted Japan’s Central Alps early this week. Unfortunately, the fourth missing person was also found dead, increasing the number of deaths to four. Nine climbers were reported to have been separated from the pack of twenty when a thick fog and rain storm hit the Alps on Monday and only five climbers were able to return to safety.
Compared to the other three found on Tuesday, the fourth Korean was found late that day and was only brought down the mountains on Wednesday. According to Nagano Prefectural Police officer Akira Ito, the first three Koreans died because of hypothermia. The coroner who examined the bodies of the three believed that they could be in their 70s. Given their age, it is mostly common for them to have low tolerance for cold temperatures, which increased their risk of hypothermia given the weather conditions on Monday. The fourth body is still being examined to confirm the cause of death and he has not been identified as of this time.
The group of climbers, aged 40 until 70, were on an unguided climbing trip at the central Japanese Alps near the city of Komagane in Nagano Prefecture. The pack from South Korea were composed of 14 men and 6 women and all are amateur climbers. According to Ito, the mountain range is not a place for climbers without full strength and preparation.