Caucasus Avalanche Injures Three on Busy Mountain

Climbing
avalanche on kazbek
The debris field on Mount Kazbek. Photo: 4sport.ua

At least three climbers needed rescue after a huge avalanche on the popular Mount Kazbek, on the Russia-Georgia border. Ukrainian mountaineering outlet 4sport.ua said that “dozens” of climbers were on the dormant volcano when the snow cut loose.

avalanche on mount kazbek

Rescue operations on Kazbek. Photo: Bezpieczny Kazbek

The avalanche started around 4,700m, only a few hundred metres from the summit. The accumulation zone was an estimated 400m long.

According to initial reports, the avalanche swept at least five people with it. However, the total now appears to be three. One person had broken legs and shoulders. By 3 pm local time (UTC+4), all three injured climbers had been safely rescued. Reports at that time indicated that no climbers remained buried.

Rescue teams flew in from Georgia to respond to the incident.

mt. kazbek avalanche

Photo: Bezpieczny Kazbek Photos

In 1979, the Soviet government designated the area around Mount Kazbek as a nature reserve. In Georgian folklore, the gods punished Amirani (Prometheus) on the mountain for stealing fire.

A British expedition first summited the 5,054m peak in 1868. The region is known for its highly active glaciers. In 2002, the Kolka Glacier collapsed, killing 140 people. In 2014, another incident on the Devdaraki Glacier killed seven.

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About the Author

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson takes any writing assignments he can talk his way into while intermittently traveling the American West and Mexico in search of margaritas — er, adventure. He parlayed a decade of roving trade work into a life of fair-weather rock climbing and truck dwelling before (to his parents' evident relief) finding a way to put his BA in English to use. Sam loves animals, sleeping outdoors, campfire refreshments and a good story.

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