Yuki Arai, one of the most influencial alpine athletes, has passed away. He accidentally slipped down to death near the top of Mt. Goryu-dake (2814 m) according to some news sources.
I met him as a colleague in the guiding force at Mt. Fuji some summers ago. A brave lone wolf type who also has the will, capability, and leadership once in a group, was what he seemed to me, and it hasn’t changed. Out of various ways to enjoy the mountains, he especially loved climbing and skiing, and he didn’t stop there–he has skied down the faces of mountains that are challenging enough for climbers. A true adventurer who saw new lines up there that no one else did.
I regret I never had a chance to ski with him. I usually ski the moguls. I usually ride the bikes. I know we are into slightly different things, but it made me feel sure that we could definitely share something about what we do, as athletes, or as pioneers in our own fields. No matter how far apart we have been in any way, I have always loved him, cheered him, and respected him.
Rest in peace. The world will miss you.