Three Missing, One Rescued on Annapurna

Russian climbers Sergey Kondrashkin, Alexander Luthokin, and Dmitry Sinev are missing on Annapurna, RussianClimb has just reported. A helicopter has been called to search the mountain tomorrow.

Kondrashkin and Sinev summited on April 16 but apparently, Luthokin did not. No further details are available.

Meanwhile, Poland’s Waldemar Kowalewski has left Base Camp to help with the ground search, according to Polish media. Kowalewski barely had time to rest in Base Camp after his summit push before this unexpected call to duty. He went to Advance Base Camp but has since returned to BC.

The problem is that the Russian climbers could be virtually anywhere: They were last seen two days ago in Camp 4.

File image of Polish climber Waldemar Kowalewski, this past winter on K2. Photo: Waldemar Kowalewski


Evacuations and a rescue (??)

Kowalewski’s climbing partner Jarek Zdanowicz was airlifted to Pokhara for health reasons. He is not the only climber evacuated. David Nosas from Andorra was flown to Kathmandu with frostbitten toes.

Nosas said that he caught the same helicopter deployed to rescue Lu Chung Han of Taiwan from Camp 4. Lu had summited without O2 but couldn’t go descend further than C4 because of frostbite. Other sources suggest that Lu had simply “asked…to be picked up by helicopter and returned to Kathmandu for further rest and recovery” before heading for Dhaulagiri.

Taiwan’s Lu Chun Han hangs from a cable during his airlift from Annapurna’s C4. Photo:


Several climbers active on social media before their summit push have not posted since their return. Details remain confusing, and we are waiting, in particular, for official word from SST leader Chhang Dawa Sherpa.

Senior journalist, published author and communication consultant. Specialized on high-altitude mountaineering, with an interest for everything around the mountains: from economics to geopolitics. After five years exploring distant professional ranges, I returned to ExWeb BC in 2018. Feeling right at home since then!

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1 year ago

Angela, Jarek Zdanowicz descended to BC as well, just left BC already because of mild frostbites. Many climbers already left BC including all Imagine Nepal with Mingma G and many Sherpas too was already airlifted from BC.

1 year ago

Airlift from C4 without having completed the entire route just to rest and then climb another mountain? Both checked. Wow. Fair?

1 year ago

They have been located! One of them has already been brought back to BC by longline. The other two will be next.
Congratz everybody involved in the rescue operation! 😀