Russian Outfitter Gets Four Years in Prison For 2022 Kluchevskaya Disaster

Andrey Stepanov, the head of the Extreme Time travel agency in Novosibirsk, Russia, has been sentenced to four years in prison. A Russian court found him guilty of providing services that did not meet safety requirements, according to

The group was ascending the 4,754m Kluchevskaya volcano in Kamchatka, in the Russian Far East, when the tragedy occurred in September 2022. Nine people out of 12 died.

During the summit push, three climbers fell to their deaths. Six others (five clients and one of the two guides) became stranded at more than 4,000m.

The second guide, Ivan Alabugin, had earlier accompanied two clients who were not feeling well back to a lower camp. Alabugin then hurried up to the site of the accident. He tried to help the stranded clients and his colleague, who had broken his leg and could not move.

They were stuck there for three days and died one by one, except for Alabugin and the two clients who had earlier turned around.

The court in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the capital of Kamchatka where the volcano lies, found Stepanov guilty of poor safety standards that resulted in the death of more than two persons through negligence, according to Russia’s criminal code.

After the 10 clients had arrived in Kamchatka, Stepanov’s two guides, Ivan Alabugin and Andrey Mishchenko, gave them instructions. But neither they nor anyone else present had the proper qualifications to organize such a trip.

The Kluchevskaya volcano was in the news again last week, this time for a fresh eruption.

Kris Annapurna

KrisAnnapurna is a writer with ExplorersWeb.

Kris has been writing about history and tales in alpinism, news, mountaineering, and news updates in the Himalaya, Karakoram, etc., for the past year with ExplorersWeb. Prior to that, Kris worked as a real estate agent, interpreter, and translator in criminal law. Now based in Madrid, Spain, she was born and raised in Hungary.