Tragedy on Cho-Oyu'98

This happened in himalayan expedition organized by Top Sport Travel (a travel agency in Petersburg) on behalf of Petersburg Federation of Mountaineering and Climbing.

Last year the agency performed successfully expedition to himalayan seventhousander Ama-Dablang. On this year one decided to undertake ascent of an eight-thousander. As well as last year, Alexey Shustrov was the expedition leader. Mostly the team'98 was composed of CET "Neva" Dhaulagiri'96 Expedition participants. Totally it amounted to 9 persons.

By the end of April four upper camps had been installed, acclimatization had been completed, and the team was prepared to climb up the summit. Besides, a paraplane descent from the summit vicinities was planned by one of participants.

Victor Stepanov (master of sport of the ex-USSR from Novgorod) had come down to the Camp 2 (7100m) from the Camp 4 (7600m) to make some photo shots and video of the paraplane flight. He was OK, active and nothing presaged any disaster. April 29 early morning he was alone in the Camp 2. Other participants who arrived here by the noon found him dead... He was likely to cook his breakfast, prepared the gas stove... Argentine expedition doctor stated lung aorta breaking which had happened between 6 and 7 o'clock that morning. Probably it was provoked with cough which is a routine phenomenon on high altitude.

At once the ascent had been stopped, only two of expedition members had summited before than the lugubrious news came to the Camp 4.

The body was carried down to the altitude of 6700m and buried in a safe place on rocks.

The expedition returned back to Petersburg on May 10. A rescue action for bringing the body home is discussed.

The information was presented by A.Shustrov.

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