Two Russian mountaineers killed by avalanche while ascending Ismoili Somoni Peak

18/08/2016 17:27
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DUSHANBE, August 18, 2016, Asia-Plus – Two Russian climbers have been killed by an avalanche while ascending the Ismoili Somoni Peak in Tajikistan.   

According to the Climbing Federation of Russia, the tragedy took place on August 14 at 7:50 am on the edge of the 7,495m Mount Ismoili Somoni.

The group of Russian climbers numbering three people were at the altitude of 6,800 meters when an avalanche occurred.  Pavel Tsvetov was reportedly thrown by the avalanche downwards towards the Khokhlov Pass while Mikhail Volkov and Natalia Tsvetova were thrown to the east from the edge.

Pavel Tsvetov managed to get rid of snow mass while the search operation for missing Mikhail Volkov and Natalia Tsvetova ended on August 16 without any results.   

Meanwhile, representatives of the Committee on Emergency Situation and Civil Defense (CES) under the Government of Tajikistan say they have not been informed of that tragedy.

“Such a case has not been registered with the Committee and we know nothing about this tragedy,” Umeda Yusupova, a spokeswoman for the CES, told Thursday afternoon.  

The Ismoili Somoni Peak is the highest mountain in Tajikistan and in the former Russian Empire and later in the Soviet Union, named after Ismoili Somoni, the greatest ruler of the Samanid dynasty.

When the existence of a peak in the Soviet Pamir Mountains higher than Lenin Peak was first established in 1928, the mountain was tentatively identified with Garmo Peak; but as the result of the work of further Soviet expeditions, it became clear by 1932 that they were not the same, and in 1933 the new peak, in the Akademiya Nauk Range, was named Stalin Peak, after Joseph Stalin. In 1962, as part of Krushchev's nationwide de-Stalinization process, the name was changed to Communism Peak, a name by which it is still commonly known.  The name 'Communism Peak' was dropped in 1998 in favor of the current name.

The first ascent was made September 3, 1933 by the Soviet mountaineer Yevgeniy Abalakov.


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