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Storm Takes Three Russians on Peak Pobeda

News Flash: The following news flash is a preliminary report posted as a service to our readers. Alpinist has not confirmed the veracity of its contents but will post a story in detail when more information becomes available.–Ed.

Three Russian climbers died in late August after caught in a weeklong storm on Peak Pobeda (7439m), Kokshaal-too, Tien Shan, on the Kyrgyzstan-China border. Numerous others, also held hostage by the storm, are recovering from frostbite.

Three Polish climbers and roughly 15 Russian climbers summited in fine conditions between 12:40 and 2 p.m. on August 23; among them was Yuri Efremov, 60, who began suffering from heart troubles on the summit. His teammates helped him to 7200 meters, where they gave him medicine, and then to 6900 meters, where they were trapped for four days, engulfed by a whiteout and, at times, hurricane-force winds.

Efremov died on the afternoon of August 25. Kirill Mokhov began losing consciousness that afternoon and died the next morning.

A pause in the weather on August 26 allowed the Russians to descend to a cave, where they found two other climbers. Two days later, the survivors descended to fixed ropes, making it as far down as 6100 meters.

Andrew Bainazarov died on August 29 while descending from 6400 meters.

The next day, August 30, a helicopter rescued the remaining climbers from 5800 meters at Dikiy Pass.

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