American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Nepal, Kangchenjunga Ascent and Tragedy

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1995

Kangchenjunga Ascent and Tragedy. An expedition of 6 Belorussians, 4 Russians and two Bulgarians was led by Belorussian Sergei Novikov. Russia’s best known woman climber, Yekaterina Ivanova, and the best known female alpinist of Bulgaria, Yordanka Dimitrova died on this expedition to the southwest face of Kangchenjunga. Ivanova was killed by an avalanche that struck a bivouac at 6700 meters on the night of October 9/10 while she and Belorussian Sergei Jvirbiva were sleeping. When a search party went to their bivouac site, they found only a crampon on the snow. Dimitrova disappeared on October 23 after she was last seen by teammates at 8300 meters in her bid for the summit without the use of bottled oxygen. She was never seen again. Belorussian Viktor Kulbachenko, who left their highest camp five hours after her for his own summit attempt, did reach the summit with artificial oxygen. He reported that he saw her ski pole and ice axe at different places along the route and that her tracks ended at 8300 meters.

Elizabeth Hawley

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