Five Climbers Killed on Russia’s Mount Elbrus

Five climbers died after a blizzard on Mount Elbrus, Europe’s highest peak, Russia’s emergency ministry said Friday.

Thursday’s incident occurred when 19 climbers were at an altitude of more than 5,000 meters. Elbrus, located in Russia’s North Caucasus, is the highest mountain in Europe at 5,642 meters.

“Unfortunately five people died,” the Russian emergency ministry said.

Fourteen climbers were successfully brought into the Azau valley in a rescue operation in “the most difficult conditions” with strong winds, low visibility and sub-zero temperatures, he said.

Caucasus Mountains in Russia with Mount Elbrus (5642 m) in the background, 9 October 2020. (AFP)

Caucasus Mountains in Russia with Mount Elbrus (5642 m) in the background, 9 October 2020. (AFP)

The company that organizes the climb says there are four professional guides accompanying the climbers.

During the climb, one of the climbers felt unwell and turned around with one of the guides. He later died “in his arms,” ​​he said. The rest of the group continued to the top but an “unusual storm” hit as they descended.

One of the climbers suffered a broken leg, which slowed the group down even more. Two climbers froze to death and two others lost consciousness and died as they were lowered, the company said.

The guide and several participants have been hospitalized due to frostbite. [lt/uh]

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