5 alpinists dead, 14 hospitalized climbing Russia’s mount Elbrus

11:50, 24 September 2021
5 alpinists dead, 14 hospitalized climbing Russia’s mount Elbrus

The death toll of mountaineers rose to five, 14 people were hospitalized while the group of climbers had tried to reach the highest mountain of Russia and Europe - Elbrus.

The 20-people group started an ascent on September 23, including 16 tourists and four professional climbers, although the weather forecast was poor.

During the ascent, the woman felt bad and one of the guides helped her to go down as the group carried on to go up. Suddenly the weather broke as the snowstorm came. The woman fainted and then died without regaining consciousness. Presumably, she suffered from the drastic pressure drop. The accompanying guide was the first who reached the rescue service.

The Blizzard caught the group at 5,400 meters high. The wind speed reached 40 meters per hour (89 miles per hour) and the temperature was minus 20 Celsius (minus 4 Fahrenheit). The climbers decided to descend, however, one climber broke the leg which slowed down the group’s mobility thus the alpinists were divided into three groups to go down faster. 

The rescuers said that zero visibility made the safe mission extremely difficult. The Russian emergency service deployed 16 vehicles and 70 emergency workers. It took seven hours to find 14 people while two climbers had been missing as two people had already died by then. After a while, rescuers could find another two alpinists but they hadn’t shown any sign of life.

All the climbers were severely frostbitten and one the guide was almost blinded by the blizzard.