The Active Feed: Spring Storm Turns Deadly
At least eight people were found dead last Saturday, May 5, when a spring storm changed suddenly from rain to snow near Nagano, surprising climbers in Japan's Northern Alps.
Six of the fatalities belonged to a group attempting to summit 9,075-foot Mount Korenge in the Hida Mountains. All six were lightly dressed and 60-plus years old, leading officials to believe they died of hypothermia. “After expending so much energy in the rain, when it turned to snow they may have experienced a sudden loss of body temperature,” a rescuer told The Japan Times. Two other climbers, also above the age of 60, were discovered farther south after being caught out in the cold.
The storm's serendipitous timing made it particularly deadly. Late April and early May marked Japan's "Golden Week" of spring holidays—a popular time for hiking and climbing, as many businesses are closed and mountain season has just begun.