(by Raheel Adnan) Premium Russian climber Alexey Bolotov was found dead at 5600m, yesterday. Precise details about the unfortunate incident still remain vague but body of the climber has been recovered and moved to Kathmandu. Apparently the incident happened before the start of new route attempt and Denis Urubko was not with Alex. Simone Moro who flew to BC this morning to undertake the task of recovering the body from rocky ravine thinks, "Alexey perhaps had gone on that side of the glacier to take photographs."
Denis Urubko has also returned to Kathmandu. While exact details are awaited, Montagna TV reports that, “Currently, however, it’s confirmed that Bolotov was found dead by a group of Sherpas and Denis Urubko, who went out in the early hours of the morning to look for the mountaineer.”
Today, sad news arrived about death of another climber on Shishapangma, who passed away last week. On a positive note, two Russians made it to the summit of Lhotse this afternoon. While Nuptse climbers are not definite whether they summited the peak or not.
Russian Trio on Lhotse
Alex Borodenkov, Viktor Koval and Sergey Kondrashkin arrived at BC on 19th April and remained busy in acclimatization and setting up higher camps till 8th May. Then they went down to green-zone for some rest before summit push. The trio returned to BC on 13th May. Although weather wasn't ideal but they continued to C2 on same day.
Today, it has been reported that Viktor Koval and Sergey Kondrashkin reached the summit of Lhotse at 1300Hrs local time, while Alex Borodenkov had to turn back slightly short of the top. They are back in C4 (7800m) now. The team has been working independently on the mountain, without guides and porters. On the day of Lhotse Face brawl, they tried to go up the wall but were not allowed.
22 years old Indian Ashish Mane also summited Lhotse, today morning.
Death on Shishapangma
Second summit push on Shishapangma occurred last week, when many climbers tried to reach the summit on 9th & 10th May. In previous update, Explorersweb reported that majority of climbers turned back from Shishapangma Central, while details were awaited about some climbers. One of the teams shared a brief update about their climb. None of the climbers made it to True Summit (although they reached Shishpangma Central at around 3PM). But the situation turned worse, when one German member of the group showed the signs of HAPE. Emergency medication proved to be of little help. Expedition leader, Thomas Laemmle, decided to stay with sick climber and tried to bring him down slowly, while rest of the group descended to lower camp.
By the morning, they were at 7500m. Having spent already several days at altitude, Thomas too developed signs of pulmonary edema and his toes were frostbitten. His condition stabilized after medication but unfortunately the sick climber died at around 1130AM, when a rescue team was still on its way up. Thomas is currently hospitalized in Kathmandu, but he says that the injuries are not too bad. He feels positive about recovery before Gasherbrums expedition starting in June.
Thomas already summited the Shishapangma on 30th April.
Spaniard on Nuptse
Spanish climber Alex Txikon’s plans for the season included Nuptse and Lhotse. He is currently back in C3 (Nuptse) after a very interesting climb.
Alex says [Google Translated], “I have come to where humanly possible, up to 30 meters away from the main summit (Nuptse), even 10 feet below the summit ridge but sure vacuum drop: it was hollow inside. Moving there was condemned to a tragic end, and many tragedies we have had this week. I have that feeling of summit, but it is Mrs. Hawley's decision.”
Apparently Billi Bierling, Mrs Hawley’s assistant, was also up there today. Alex says Billi has taken photos and recorded a video. Hence it should be easier for Mrs Hawley to evaluate the summit-claim. Alex would descend to C2 tomorrow and then attempt Lhotse with Juanra Madariaga and Mexican Jorge Salazar.
Based in Lahore, Pakistan telecom engineer and mountaineering enthusiast Raheel Adnan is contributing reporter for ExplorersWeb's mountaineering sections. He shares regular updates on Twitter and runs his own blog at AltitudePakistan posting initiated climbing news from Himalaya and Karakoram.
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