Into the Wild, One Man's Paradise


Masatoshi Kuriaki just spent 75 days alone in the Alaska Range attempting for the 9th time to solo climb Mt. Hunter in winter.

His accomplishments: First winter solo of Mt. Foraker  in 2007. Winter solo of Denali in 1998. Walked from Anchorage to Prudhoe Bay 1998.

He lives in Japan with his family and has spent about two years of his life alone in Alaska in the winter time.

This year unfavorable snow conditions forced Masatoshi to activate his emergency beacon after 75 days on the mountain. Four feet of snow and warm temperatures created extreme avalanche danger, forcing him to stay put at 8000 feet. Before running out of food and fuel, or attempting to descend in extreme conditions he decided to request a rescue, the first time in his many years of mountaineering. On April 3, two days after the rescue call, Masatoshi was picked of the West Ridge of Mt. Hunter by Alaska Air National Guard helicopter pilot Andy Hermansky and short-hauled to base camp.


St. Elias Mountains

One Man's Paradise

The Japanese Caribou

Today we had a visit from Talkeetna Air Taxi, the guys, who drop off climbers on Denali. They came in late from Rohn, a sketchy unattended air strip below Rainy Pass, where they had dropped some fuel barrels for the Irondog racers. We started chatting and they told us that they just had dropped a Japanese climber, who is trying for the sixth time to solo Mount Hunter in the winter.

In the Cloud

In the Cloud

Masatoshi Kuriaki has been climbing in Alaska since 1998 spending over 730 days in the mountains, mostly in the winter. He is married, has kids and lives in Japan. He received the nickname “The Japanese Caribou” after walking 860 miles from Anchorage to Prudhoe Bay.