Alex Abramov's report from 2 nights in snow cave sans sleeping bags at Vinson: "Three days of heroism and drama"

Alex Abramov's report from 2 nights in snow cave sans sleeping bags at Vinson: "Three days of heroism and drama"

Posted: Dec 13, 2005 07:09 pm EST

( No matter where they go, Alex Abramov's expeditions are anything but boring. After crashing a Landrover on the slopes of Elbrus and being bombed by Maoists en route to Everest this Spring, the super-chef might have thought he would have a quiet expedition on Mt. Vinson, the highest point of Antarctica. It was not to be.

The leader of 7 Summits-Club team has just reported that a sudden snowstorm surprised the climbers on their way to C2,and forced them to spend two nights under some pretty tough conditions. Here is Abramovs latest:

Three days of heroism and drama

I want to describe the team's last three days, full of heroism and drama. Our group has survived two heavy nights at Camp 2 on Vinson. On December 9th, the group left from C1 to C2. Climbers took along supplies for several days, since they planned to go all the way to the summit on that go, weather permitting."

However, out of nowhere, bad weather prevented the team from reaching the Camp site a snowstorm and whiteout forced them to pitch their two tents 200 meters below the planned location, in a tricky, heavily-crevassed area. They were stuck there for two days.

"We shivered all day"

Alexander Abramov and Soren Gudmann had left their sleds somewhere along the way, and they werent able to find them when the snowstorm struck. As if that weren't bad enough, their sleeping bags were in the lost sleds, so that they spent two nights under very tough conditions.

"(After our first night without sleeping bags), conditions were far from improving in fact they were worse than the day before. We lay down and shivered all day long. By the end of the day we ran out of fuel. Anyway, it was almost impossible to cook at all."

The shrinking snow-cave

"To make matters worse, suddenly our tent collapsed under the weight of snow. As a result, we had to dig a snow cave for shelter. The cave was roomy enough at first, but as hours went by it became smaller and smaller. By night, we simply laid closely to each other, shivering and unsuccessfully trying to sleep. The tent was filled up with snow and soon we began to feel suffocated due to lack of air.

"On the morning of December 11th, the weather improved slightly, but the wind was still strong. However, it was absolutely impossible to stay there any longer."

Two members sick

Alex Abramov and Vlad Puskarev were the first to leave. A few minutes later they found their sleds - 35 meters away. Then they reached C2, barely 200 meters from their overnight place.

However, some team members were not fit enough to reach C2: Soren Gudmann had stomach problems, and Israfil Àshurly apparently suffered from frostbite. After some discussion, they decided go back down to Base Camp together with Abramov.

Victor Bobok and Vladimir Pushkarev have remained high up, hoping for the weather to improve in order to attempt the summit.

The current 7 Summits Club team on Vinson is jointly organized by Russian 7 Summits-club (formerly Alpindustria Adventure Team) and Dutch Team members are Alexander Abramov (leader, 41, Russia, Moscow), Victor Bobok (44, Russia - Ukraine) Israfil Ashurly (36, Russia Azerbaijan), Vladimir Pushkarev (38, Russia, from Siberia), and Soren Gudmann (43, Denmark).

This Spring (2005) a large number of climbers from 7Summits-Club team (co-organized by Alex Abramov and Harry Kikstra) summited Everest through the North side. The expedition provided news on an almost daily basis: From the sad death of one team member, to the Maoist bomb attack suffered by Alex and one of his guides, Harry Kikstras close call on descent from the summit, and a great deal of information on other teams and BC events.

However, before Everest 2005 expedition Alexander Abramov had already made quite a name for himself here at ExplorersWeb. He was the one to drive a Land Rover to the top of Elbrus and crashed it coming down; he was the one who slaughtered his own BC food on Everest two years back, and finally the expedition leader of our team mate's climb to the summit of Mount Everest in Spring 2004.

#Mountaineering #Polar

Alexander Abramov, one of the most popular characters on Everest's North side, wouldn't miss the upcoming climbing season. Image courtesy of Alex and 7Summits-club (click to enlarge).