Hirotaka Takeuchi, the Japanese mountaineer, has sealed a sponsoring deal with Komperdell, the Austrian manufacturer of ski and trekking poles. The 40-year-old father of two aspires to be the first Japanese ever to climb all mountains higher than 8,000 meters. He already climbed 13 of them, some of them with Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner, the legendary female Austrian mountaineer, and her husband, Ralf Dujmovits. Last Saturday, Takeuchi left for Nepal to tackle the summit of Dhaulagiri with the support of Komperdell's gear.