Novosibirsk residents helped rescue freezing climbers on Elbrus

The Novosibirsk group, which helped lower the injured climbers, included Evgeny Mironenko, Yanis Kaishev, Ivan Grigoriev, Vasily Rakhvalov, Denis Khmelevsky, Vladimir Bessonov, Alexander Lineitsev, Mikhail Bezvaritny and Andrey Chuvashov

The citizens of Novosibirsk took part in the rescue operation on Elbrus, where on September 23 a group of climbers disappeared in a blizzard. The Siberians also planned to climb the summit, but bad weather and tragedy changed their plans. One of our fellow countrymen told how it all happened.

The Novosibirsk resident Yevgeny Mironenko explained that he had come to Elbrus with a group of friends. All of them are entrepreneurs from the Siberian capital who have created their own professional club “Opora”. Eugene is one of its founders. In total, the group included 9 Novosibirsk residents.

Sibiryak explained that the team came here just to have a good time and conquer the summit of Elbrus. On September 23, their group threw themselves to an altitude of 3800 meters to the “National Park” shelter for acclimatization, in order to then go to the Pastukhov rocks and the top of the mountain. But the weather began to change.

A group of Novosibirsk residents postponed the ascent to the summit of Elbrus due to a sharp change in weather

“The weather began to deteriorate, it was very shallow, the visibility was practically zero, and the exit to the Pastukhov Rocks was postponed by our guide for safety reasons,” said Evgeny.

At the same time it became known that the weather on the top of Elbrus began to deteriorate in the morning, and a group of 20 tourists with 4 guides had not yet returned and got in touch. The residents of Novosibirsk learned that rescue operations were already underway at the height. The team’s guide went there on a snowcat to search for the missing climbers.

– At some point, we realized that there is a group of people at the top. Everyone was worried about them. There were a lot of people in the camp, but most of the people did not connect to help. And we packed up and went. We dressed as warmly as possible. When the first snowcat returned, we didn’t even know whether it was alive or dead – we just went to meet him. Because if guides or rescuers had unloaded it, they would have spent a lot of time on it and the second and third groups would have simply not had time to save. We went to the snowcat and began to unload the guys, – said Evgeny.

The first snowcat with 6 survivors was launched at 23:30, the Siberian explained. The injured climbers, according to him, were unloaded from snow groomers, transported to houses, changed into dry clothes, wrapped in blankets and served with tea.

The victims were taken to houses to warm up

– They were in such a state that even their jackets were not unbuttoned there – clothes weighed under 50 kg. I don’t even know how they went. Everything was soaking wet. There were rare weather conditions – when it was -20 degrees outside, the wind reached 30 meters per second, while there was also some kind of wet snow. When I was leading one man by the arms, he said that he needed to go to work and he could not come with us. I had to explain that after the house we will take him to work and everything will be fine. After each such conversation, I myself felt uneasy, goosebumps ran through my skin, – added Yevgeny Mironenko.

It was difficult to undress people, says Evgeny, their clothes weighed under 50 kilograms

Then they turned on the cable car – this made it possible to transport the victims even lower. They began to gently lower the people to the upper station of the lift, and from there they handed them over to the EMERCOM employees.

– Several descents and ascents to the cable car, 150-200 meters each, and everyone had a headache. Since we had only the first day of acclimatization, it was hard. We threw in pills and ran to the next snowcat, – shared the Novosibirsk resident.

The whole process of rescuing people from the summit ended at about 3 am. The belongings of the injured group were lowered the very next day

Evgeny said that the Novosibirsk team never climbed to the top of Elbrus:

– The ascent did not take place this time, but I am sure that we have completed a more important mission.

The editorial staff of the NGS expresses its condolences to the families and loved ones of those who died while climbing Elbrus.

In December last year, we told the story of a Novosibirsk resident who saved a climber while climbing Elbrus.

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