Waseda students and alumnus to climb unexplored Lajo Dada of Himalaya

Norifumi Fukuda (captain) and Yudai Suzuki of Waseda Alpine Club, as well as alumnus Kojuro Hagihara, who graduated from Waseda University two years ago, have formed a three member expedition team to be the first to climb the unexplored mountain Lajo Dada (6,426 m elevation) located in the Himalayan range. The team plans to climb Lajo Dada on September 20 and the whole expedition is estimated to last approximately for a month.

Waseda Weekly, an online magazine for Waseda students, decided to do a short interview with them before they leave for Lajo Dada later this month.

Members of the expedition team – (from left) Fukuda, Hagihara and Suzuki

Hagihara:
“I have received a lot of support from the alumni association of Waseda Alpine Club, Waseda University itself as well as organisations sponsoring and supporting my activities. Before leaving for Lajo Dada, we have to make preparation and undergo training to get ourselves mentally and physically ready. I am looking forward to reaching the summit but most importantly, I want to achieve something and create a story for myself, just like how the the former Waseda Apline Club members before me have done.”

Left: training camp of Waseda Alpine Club at Mt. Kitahotakadake for newcomers
Right: training camp of Waseda Alpine Club at Mt Fuji
(photos contributed by Waseda Alpine Club)

Suzuki:
“As Lajo Dada is an unclimbed mountain, it means that we have very little information about the condition and landscape of the mountain. Instead, we have to rely on very minor information such as the latitude and longitude of the mountain. Fukuda and I were really excited when we came to know about the existence of Lajo Dada. Over the past one year, I have made a lot preparation and done a lot training. I am really looking forward to the moment when we celebrate our arrival at the summit.”

Fukuda:
“I am both excited and nervous at the same time. As the captain of the Waseda Alpine Club, I am supposed to be by the side of the members of the club. Shouldering the expectation and support of my fellow club members, I am looking forward to the challenge coming this month.”

壮行会では多くの山岳部OBから激励を受けました

The expedition team receives a lot of support from the alumni association of the Waseda Alpine Club

Expedition team profile

Captain Kojuro Hagihara
Graduate of School of Political Science and Economics (class of 2015) & former captain of Waseda Alpine Club

Hagihara challenged himself and climbed the Alps in Europe when he was still a student at Waseda University. He worked for one of the major Japanese trading companies and left the company to participate in the expedition to Lajo Dada. After he decided to join the expedition, he has participated in many training camps with the Waseda Alpine Club. His motto is “Live a life of thrill and romance.”

Vice-captain Yudai Suzuki
Fifth year student of School of Law

Born in Tokyo. Suzuki went on a one-year student exchange program to Oregon of the U.S in 2016. The expedition that left the deepest impression on him was the one to the Nose of El Capitan in Yosemitsu National Park where he spent four days climbing a pier of 1,000 meter in height.

Norifumi Fukuda
Fourth year student of School of Sport Sciences & current captain of Waseda Alpine Club

Born in Ibraki prefecture. His love for mountain climbing was highly influenced by the adviser of the alpine club in his high school. He chose to come to Waseda University for the high reputation of its Waseda Alpine Club in Japan.

Details of the expedition to Lajo Dada

■Expedition period
September 20 to November 1, 2017
Total number of days: 42 days (actual number of days scheduled for climbing Lajo Dada is 24 days) .

■Sponsor
Alumni association of Waseda Alpine Club

■Expedition members
Kojuro Hagihara(captain), Yudai Suzuki (vice-captain), Norifumi Fukuda (member)

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