Rescue attempt for missing climber Evgeniy Glazunov delayed after Aeroflot loses vital equipment

Rescue attempt for missing climber Evgeniy Glazunov delayed after Aeroflot loses vital equipment

RESCUE efforts to find missing climber Evgeniy Glazunov who lost contact with base camp in bad weather on a mountain in Kyrgystan will have to wait another 24 hours after Russian airline Aeroflot lost the rescuers’ equipment.

Specialist search and rescue climbers had hoped to begin looking for the experienced climber at first light today after flying in during the early hours to Kyrgyzstan’s Pamir-Alai mountain range.

Glazunov lost contact with his team on Friday during bad weather as he descended the 5,355m peak of Ak-Suu. The climber was tackling the tough Chaplinsky route solo on the north face when he reported bad weather closing in to the crew, after saying he had begun his descent.

Conditions on the mountain continued to be difficult until yesterday evening, but a weather window this morning would have allowed a rescue team led by Alexey Boyko, Anatoly Syshchikov and Kirill Povetkin to make their way to Glazunov’s last-known position.

The team had hoped to camp at Uzgurush before continuing of foot with donkeys at the break of dawn and deploying a drone to scour the north face of Ak-Suu.

However, the drone was in one of three kit bags temporarily misplaced by bungling baggage handlers.

According to updates from Mountain.RU, one of the rescuers was forced to fly to Osh to wait for the luggage while a team of four pressed ahead with a plan to head up Ak-Suu in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

“Tkachenko’s [one of the rescue party] flight was delayed, then Aurora/Aeroflot lost the luggage – all three bags with equipment,” a spokesperson said.

Dramatically, in the the last few minutes, rescuers said they were expecting the bags to arrive shortly, despite being told by Aeroflot it could a further two days.

“When you give up, miracles happen,” the spokesperson explained.

“Luggage with public equipment (even with a part of it, but counted), three trunks, which Pasha Tkachenko carried from Vladivostok through Krasnoyarsk to Osh, was lost, and – through all official channels – we were promised to deliver it as quickly as possible, in the evening of February 23, that is, catastrophically late.

“During the night, we managed to re-register it, rewrite the route, deliver it to Moscow in the morning and hand it over to Sasha Zhigalov and Timokha Ivanov. Lera Pimonova, you have no idea what you have done, thank you again. Special thanks to the employees of Aeroflot, they met us halfway without unnecessary formalities and questions.

“Maxim Badmaev met the guys (Zhigalov, Ivanov) and eight bags in Sheremetyevo, takes them to Zhukovsky. Thank you. We insured all the guys participating in the rescues.

“Boyko, Syshchikov and Povetkin in the gorge. There is a tube. In the evening, we are waiting for communication and news with them. Zhigalov, Tkachenko, Krasnov and Ivanov will move to Uzgurush tomorrow. We are in touch with the Kyrgyz Federation and the Ministry of Emergency Situations. Thank you guys for your support.”

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