Everest-2006. The most dramatic expedition. Summit, death and rescue
Everest expedition of the 7 Summits Club of 2006 was led by Alexander Abramov. In General, the results of the 2005 expedition were rather positive. And this became a good basis for assembling a large expedition for the next year. A competitive price and a good level of service helped attract new customers from all over the world. Dutch Harry Kikstra (7summits.com), who realized his dream of reaching the summit in 2005, did not lose enthusiasm and joined several projects at once. All this made it possible to assemble a truly gigantic expedition: 28 members, six guides and a doctor who is going to climb. At the same time, foreigners made up the absolute majority - 23 people plus 4 as video crews.
- Alexander Abramov, Russia (main guide and leader, Everest Summiter, leader of 5 Himalayan Expeditions)
- Nikolay Cherny, Russia (guide, co-leader, Everest Summiter, 6 other 8-thousenders)
- Igor Svergun, Ukrain (guide, Everest summiter)
- Harry Kikstra, the Netherlands ( guide and co-leader, Everest summiter)
- Mingma Gelu Sherpa, Nepal (sirdar, 5 times Everest Summiter)
- Sergey Kofanov, Russia (assistant guide)
- Ludmila Korobeshko, Russia (assistant guide)
- Andrey Selivanov, Russia (doctor and ABC manager)
- Maxim Onipchenko, Russia (mountain ranger, BC manager)
- Sergey Chistyakov, Russia (internet project manager)
List of expedition members:
Lande Vladimir Russia
Rozhkov Ilya Russia
Ryzhenko Arkadiy Russia
Plyushkin Igor Russia
Pushkarev Vladimir Russia
Lorenzo Gariano UK
Kirk Wheatley UK
David A. Lien USA
Ron Morrow USA
William Hazelton Tyler III USA
Slate Stern USA
Ronald Kevin Muhl South African
Noel Richmond Hanna UK
Petter Kragset Norway
Torbjørn Orkelbog Norway
Henrik Andre Olsen Denmark Johnny Brevik Norway
Thomas Weber (blind climber) Germany
Vince Bousselaire USA
Richard Harris Australian
Christopher Harris (son) Australian
Michael Charles Dillon Australian
Lincoln Ross Hall Australian
John Delaney Ireland
Frode Høgset Norway
Barbara Tyler USA
Patrick Hugh Flynn Ireland
Gariano Giuseppe Italian
6 kitchen boys
Total: 73 (30 clients, 43 staff)
Expedition start date : April 10
Expedition end date : June 10
18th of May. Ludmila Korobeshko and Alexander Abramov from АВС, 6400м.
The main event of last days: Vladimir Lande successfully summited Everest - May, 15 at 9.00. He has spent, from 8300 up to the top, about 6 hours, very good time. Vladimir climbed together with Nima Sherpa, then they have successfully gone down. Yesterday (May, 17), Vladimir has left for Katmandu by an evening jeep. Two days before our senior guide Nikolay Cherny and climber Vladimir Pushkarev have left expedition through illness.
Yesterday May, 17, all first group has gathered in АВС. Abramov, Kofanov and Коrobeshko have decided, that they are the cleverest, and came in АВС not for 2 days, as all normal people, but for one. As a result, Kofanov is very tired, Ludmila is simply exhausted. Only for Alex Abramov it is good, he feels most better.
Yesterday at supper, we have together celebrated the national holiday of Norway - Day of Independence. After supper Alex Abramov has lead a briefing. He addressed to the group leaving upward, once again told about dangers of Everest. Except for that, all people checked and put on masks, reducers, oxygen cylinders. It was cheerful.
Now in the morning, we go for breakfast. After it the first group –
Ilya Rozhkov, Russia
Arkadiy Ryzhenko, Russia
Igor Plyushkin, Russia
Lorenzo Gariano, UK
Kirk Wheatley, UK
David A. Lien, USA
Slate Stern, USA
Ronald Kevin Muhl, South African
Noel Richmond Hanna, UK
Petter Kragset, Norway
Henrik Andre Olsen, Denmark
Johnny Brevik, Norway
with guides Igor Svergun and Sergey Kofanov leave on the North Cole. And further under the plan of an ascent. Weather forecast is quite favorable now, on the nearest days 5-6.
Today May, 21, at 8 a.m. Tibet time ( 4 a.m. on Moscow ) the first climbers from our expedition have reached the summit of Everest. There were a guide Sergey Kofanov (Russia), sirdar Mingma Gelu Sherpa (it is his 6 ascents), 3 more Sherpas. Slate Stern (USA), Henrik Olsen (Denmark), Arcady Ryzhenko (Russia) and 2 more Sherpas have summited after them a bit later.
At 10.00 Igor Svergun (a guide of expedition from Ukraine) has transferred by a portable radio set, that he is on the summit, together with Noel Hanna (Ireland), Kirk Weatley (England) and Lorenzo Gariano (UK - Italy) and 2 more Sherpas have joined them soon. In total we have 16 summiters today. Now all members and guides go down. The weather is rather good, but the wind is more strong as in the morning.
In АВС all did not sleep since seven mornings - we were on communication with climbers. A summit attempt began at midnight. Thus, the first climbers came on the top for 8 hours. Before breakfast all of us by turns looked in a telescope at a summit triangle where rather precisely we saw all ours climbers.
For breakfast Simone Moro has come to us on a visit. He has congratulated our team on success. Only yesterday he has made a traverse from the South through the summit of Everest and has gone down to the North. For now he has decided to live in our camp and gives interview about his feats with pleasure.
Norwegian Vikings Peter Kragset and Johni Brevik, and also David Lien yesterday have gone down in АВС from the height of 8000 m. On a portable radio set guides have informed also, that three more members who have left today on attempt - Igor Plushkin, Ilya Rozhkov and Ronni Muhl have reached the height about 8700 m.
Now the second group leaves upward from АВС. These are four Australians: Chris - 15-years climber, his father Richard, 2 more operators - Lincoln and Michael, and also Harry Kikstra and Тhomas Weber (blind climber), Alex Abramov and Ludmila Korobeshko. So, taking into account ascents of Vladimir Lande and Nima Sherpa, we have 18 persons have risen the summit of Everest on our expedition now.
From Harry’s blog: Sunday, May 21. 2006
we have been watching the team all morning, here is the first unofficial 7summits update. Mingma Gelu & Sergey K summited quite early as planned and waited for the rest of the clients. Apparently Slate Stern summited soon after and was going down quickly after, in good speed. Henrik Olsen also summited in good time and finished his 7 summits!
Ilya was having problems at the 3rd step and sat there for a long time, but our team is bringing him down now.
Noel summited about 25 minutes ago and is now going down and just a few minutes ago, at the end of our maximum time allowed, Lorenzo arrived at the summit, where our guide Igor Svergun was waiting for him, they will be coming down now and will be taking everybody they meet on the way. More Sherpas have summited as well, names to follow later.
Ronnie Muhl is now at the 2nd step, so we will have to take him down as he is going too slow to go for the summit safely, just as Igor Plushkin. At the moment we are not sure if Kirk summited or not, but so far everybody is safe and in good hands and we will make sure that all members and sherpas come down together. Maybe more later, we will be leaving with team B soon.
Alex Abramov report:
May, 21 the first group of climbers, 20 person (9 members, 2 guides and 9 high-altitude porters) makes an attempt to reach the summit of Everest. Climbers have left camp at height of 8300 meters in midnight. All group used artificial oxygen during the ascent. By 10 a.m. 16 persons have reached the top of Everest. The others 4 climbers have reached heights 8600 - 8700 meters, among them was Igor Plyushkin from Krasnodar. At 10:30 all team, all 20 persons started to descent to the camp 3. At 3 p.m. all team was already down in camp of 8300 meters. The weather was good. Sherpas have prepared tea and climbers had a rest for two hours. Then all team has gone down (still using oxygen) for spending night in the camp 2 at 7800 meters, on more safe altitude. So day May, 21 was finished.
May, 22 in the morning after breakfast at 12 a.m., the team was ready to start for descent from camp of 7800 meters downwards to the North Col (7000 meters). Igor Plyushkin has passed 15 meters from his tent and has felt badly. He has addressed to guides for help, complaining on lack of oxygen and difficulty at breath. Thus he moved with use of oxygen equipment. The increase of submission of oxygen from two to four litres in minute has not helped. Injections have not helped also, struggle for life proceeded one and a half hour. Unfortunately, Igor`s condition thus essentially was not improved. At 13:45 guides were forced to verify death. The body was solved to leave at height of 7800 meters. Guides have photographed it, have closed by sleeping bags and have covered by stones. At 7 p.m. all team was down in advanced base camp ABC, on height of 6400 meters.
Igor Plyushkin, 54 year, was a skilled climber, had climbed all 7000meters summits of the former USSR. (Snow leopard)
I also want to tell about events of May, 21-22 which occured not in area of summit and second camp. May, 21 the second group planned an exit for the North Col. There were 4 Australian climbers, and among them father and son, Richard and Christopher Harris. From the first steps from АВС the son, Chris now 15 years old, has felt badly. He had a collapse, that is sharp pressure drop, and all group has returned to camp. We have taken the appropriate measures: the guy has spent with a mask about one hour, his pressure was normalized. Later the Australian team made decision to try once again.
In the morning May, 22 after first 300 meters, Chris has felt very badly again. After that we have finally made decision to refuse an ascent. In camp ABC we have again carried out medical actions, Chris was filling better. Tomorrow they will go down in base camp. Also in this day when above guides struggled for Igor`s life, Sergey Chistiakov in camp ABC has felt badly. We also have connected the oxygen equipment. When he has felt better, he has on gone downwards, into middle camp. So May, 22 was for us a fatal day. At once several persons were ill. Now, we hope, that Sergey is already out of danger, as well as Chris. Everest expedition is very heavy business and an organism of many people simply does not maintain long loading. Now only Harry Kikstra, Тhomas Weber and strongest of Australians Lincoln Hall continue an ascent.
18:30 Moscow time. Alexander Abramov by the phone from camp ABC.
21 – 25th of May good weather kept on the Everest, the wind was very weak. May, 25 in midnight a team of Lincoln Hall (Australia), Тhomas Weber (Germany), guide Harry Kikstra (Holland) in support of 5 high-altitude porters has left camp of 8300 m for a summit attempt. The group was well provided with oxygen as about 20 superfluous cylinders were in camp 8300. At 9:00 Lincoln Hall and three Sherpas has reached the top. He went in good rate and has joyfully informed about his success on a portable radio set.
At 9:15 Harry Kikstra has informed, that Томас Weber, a climber with weakened sight, has completely lost sight. For this reason, traverse on rocks to the top at height of 8800 meters he considered practically impossible. Having conferred, Тhomas, Harry and two Sherpas have begun descent at 9:30 a.m., only 50 meters from the summit on height. At 10:00 Lincoln Hall has reached on descent a snow triangle, at height of 8800 meters. And at this moment Sherpas have transferred, that Lincoln started to move downwards very bad, coordination was lost. At 10:30 Lincoln has lain on snow and could not go down independently any more. Sherpas have begun rescue works. To the aid we have sent two more Sherpas from camp ABC with oxygen. They should bring additional oxygen, drink etc ….
Unexpectedly at 12:20, Harry Kikstra has informed that he is with Тhomas and to two Sherpas at a level of the Second step, height of 8700 meters. And that Тhomas has a collapse, Томас has told only: « I have died » and have lost consciousness. At 12:40 the death was verified . Harry has sent one of Sherpas upward to the aid of transportation of Lincoln. Then he has gone downwards with the second Sherpas. From 9:30 till 19:20 , almost 9 hours, four шерпов tried to get Lincoln lower. A crest here is very complicated technically and in condition of Lincoln it was possible to lower him for 9 hours on 300-400 meters on a crest. Sherpas could lower him from the Second step on height of 8700 meters. During descent Lincoln two times talked on a portable radio set to friends. Conversations were addle, there was an obvious loss of orientation in time and space. After 5 p.m. Lincoln has ceased to reply. Movements have got chaotic character. Sherpas continued attempts to move Lincoln along a crest, but at 19:20 the death was verified. The probable reason: brain cerebral edema, pulmonary edema . Now 21:30, Sherpas have gone down from a crest in camp 8300м, they are outside of danger though have got awfully tired. Harry Kikstra is in camp on 7000 m on North Col.
Conclusions: in season of 2006 on Everest the record amount of climbers, under our information - 15 person was lost. Strangely enough, the reason of it became extremely good, windless weather. This unnatural weather for Everest proceeded from May, 10 till May, 25. This weather has allowed a plenty of climbers to reach the summit. In more severe conditions, they, probably, would stop climb at lower heights. The summit became a trap for climbers with the latent problems of health
News about Lincoln Hall. May, 25 at 19:20 Sherpas have stopped the rescue operation proceeding more of 9 hours at height about 8700 meters. They have verified the fact of death of Lincoln Hall, on the basis of that from 17:00 till 19:20 he did not submit any attributes of life. Five Sherpas, completely exhausted, have gone down in darkness in camp 8300.
In the morning May, 26 at 7 in the morning, Dan Mazur, which was climbing with group of clients, has informed, he is near Lincoln Hall. Lincoln was motionless, but submitted weak attributes of life. Immediately 13 Sherpas, spending night on North Col (7000 meters) were sent for realization of rescue operations on height of 8700 meters. The same task was put to five Sherpas which stay in camp 8300 . Unfortunately, two of them have lost sight yesterday and required help. Thus, approximately by 11 a.m. three Sherpas with tea, oxygen and medicines have reached Lincoln. After plentiful drink and reception of medicines, Lincoln started to talk, though speech of him was untied and he could not move independently . Not waiting arrival of the basic group, three Sherpas have started to move him on a crest. Now they could move him on 50 meters on a difficult rocky site. Now the second group of eight Sherpas with all necessary came for help. If weather will allow, rescue operations will proceed all night. Thank for the help and support to Dan Mazur, Russell Brice and Jamie MacGinnes.
At ten in the evening on local time Lincoln Hall and Sherpas accompanying him have gone down in camp on North Col (7000м). Yes! Lincoln Hall has passed without assistance the whole snow slope, from 7500 m! In camp on the Saddle doctor Andrey Selivanov met him and led to a dining tent, which is now as a field hospital. As he said, the first problems of Lincoln is an acute psychosis, a disorientation in space, also he shows resistance accompanying and now to the doctor. First of all it will be necessary to calm him. The reason – an acute edema of a brain and hypoxia. The doctor have examined his hands – frostbitten 2-3 degrees. Legs to the moment of communication were not examined yet. On a question on prospects Andrey has told: « We shall overcome ! ». Now Lincoln is in heat, in spacious tent with electric illumination, 10 person are engaged in his service. Descent in АВС is planned for tomorrow`s morning, but not early, when there will be a sun and will become warmer.
Under last message, for today (23:00 local time), Lincoln Hall has fallen asleep in warm tent in camp on North Col. Necessary and possible (in this place) medical aid was rendered to him.
News from 7Summits Club Everest expedition under the leadership of Alexander Abramov
May 27 at 12.30 Chinese time rescue team of 10 Sherpa and expedition doctor Andrey Selivanov descended from the North Col. They delivered Lincoln Hall to ABC. Lincoln was able to walk on his own. During the whole previous night Lincoln was sleeping on oxygen on the North Col.
As soon as he arrived in ABC Lincoln was given new portion of medical care. Brain edaema is practically gone now. He regained adequate perception of reality. Lincoln made a telephone call to his wife Barbara. He told her that he has bad frostbites of his fingers. Barbara answered that she would love him all the same even if he would loose all his fingers. In two days Lincoln is planning to go down to BC and then depart for Katmandu and Australia.
Big thanks to Sherpas of 7 Summits Club and expedition doctor Andrey Selivanov, who at risk for their own lives conducted unique rescue operation on Everest. During several last years there was no team able to descend an unmoving body from the altitude of 8800m
KATHMANDU, Nepal, May 29 (UPI) -- Lincoln Hall, the Australian climber who survived a night in the open near the summit of Mount Everest, left base camp Monday in the back of a jeep. He was expected to arrive in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, on Tuesday, and could return to Sydney in a few days after further medical treatment, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Hall collapsed last Thursday as he descended from the summit. His teammates decided he was beyond help, but a U.S. climber found him still alive the next day and his team sent a group up from the North Col to bring him down.
"He does realize he has been very, very lucky, surprisingly lucky," Jamie McGuiness, another climber, told The Daily Telegraph from Everest Base Camp. "He was very close to death, but he wasn`t actually dead and he came around."
Hall was suffering from pneumonia and frostbite and could lose some of his extremities to amputation.