American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, CIS, Kayindi Valley, P 5445, Ascent and Tragedy

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1996

P 5445, Ascent and Tragedy. It was reported that a British team of Mick Davie and Joanna Newton experienced a tragic end to their climbing vacation when Davie died because of a collapsing cornice near the summit of the unclimbed P 5445. On July 18, the two had climbed a snow/ice slope on the north side of the mountain to reach the east ridge, which they had followed toward the summit. The two were unroped with Newton in the lead when the cornice on which Davie stood collapsed, and he fell down the north face. Newton descended the line of ascent to basecamp where she teamed up with Andy Kemp to reascend in search for Davie. Bad weather and encroaching dark forced the pair to bivy. The next morning as they were descending Kemp fell over 200 meters, suffering minor cuts and bruises. Newton was again forced to descend alone. On July 28 Newton once again climbed the mountain in search of Davie, this time in the company of two Russian guides. On their descent, Newton, who was in the lead, led the group out onto a large cornice a short distance from the site of the original accident. She had successfully crossed the cornice when it broke, sending the two Russians down the north face. She was about to follow when the rope broke. She again climbed down the line of ascent. The bodies of the Russians were recovered. Davie’s was never found. (High Mountain Sports 157)

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