NOTE THE BELOW IS UNEDITED, POSTED AS SUBMITTED, THE VIDEO FOLLOWS AT THE END
Sergey Kofanov's story ….
… after summit I should be
stayed almost one and a half hour on a crest at 8500 meters. I was waiting
for Sergey Larin who was the last in our team. At last, about 12 a.m. he has
informed me, that he has safely gone down from the Second Step. Then I have
decided that the most dangerous part of a route is already behind, and I
could start go down to the camp 8300 m .
Oxygen in my last cylinder was
practically finished, but I not too worried as felt well enough in spite of
the fact that all night I worked on a route as the first, making a track in
deep snow and finding fix-ropes. To the moment of my arrival to the camp 8300
most part of clients already began to go down with sirdar Mingma and other
Sherpas. Only Israfil Ashurly and Curt Myers remained on camp.
Approaching to my tent, I have
seen in 15 meters above, on a slope, a climber laying just in snow. He was
without crampons and harness, his oxygen mask was moved down aside. The man
did not answer and made feeble attempts to rise, obviously not understanding
where he is and what happened. In his backpack I have found an oxygen cylinder
of system « Summit Oxygen», used approximately on two third.
I have dragged him on snow to
the tent. Having thrown off from him and from myself backpack and oxygen
mask, I have dragged him inside of tent and have put him face down. First of
all I decided to make him an injection of dexametazon and only then try to
give a drink, a coffee which remained in tent in my thermos. At night before
a summit bid I have decided to not take a thermos with coffee as there was to
little spaces in my backpack - only for three cylinders of oxygen and the
first-aid set. It was to the best, to heat water from snow - it takes a lot
Then I have looked in the
first-aid set, there were two syringe with dexametazon on 40 mg in everyone.
Unfortunately, it was frozen in both and I have unpacked one to warm up it in
my palms. This time Israfil said me that he has left a full cylinder of
oxygen, leaving downwards.
At this time, some unknown
girl has approached to me and has put to me in a hand a syringe filled with
something. She explain that in a syringe is prednizalon. From her I have
found out, that the person who lays in tent is an Italian, lost two day
ago. His team has gone down yesterday, having despaired to find him. A girl
was French, speaking Italian and English.
I got back in tent and have
made an injection. At that time the second French girl came to us. I have
got out of tent and have reconsidered a backpack of the Italian in which
besides an oxygen cylinder was still kg 10 different partly nonsense things,
including even a photo of his favourite dog. Together with French climbers
we have started to prepare him for a transportation. We took out all from his
backpack except a camera. One girl came to his tent and found his crampons and
In the meantime, the medicines
started to operate - the Italian started to be shaking and began to make
attempts to sit.
It took us about 10 minutes to
dressed him, that time we found out that his name is Маrcо. Together with
coffee I have forced him to take a tablet of dymox and trental, as fingers
on his hands were rather strongly frostbitten.
Having left the most part of
things in tent, we have pulled him outside. I have put on him sunglasses, a
backpack with an oxygen cylinder and a mask. Then I also have quickly put on
myself. Having lifted him on legs I have understood that he could not go.
Having fastened him to a fixed rope, I have piled him on myself, thus we have
begun descent. After 100 meters I have been exhausted finally and have put him
on snow. The only way was to try to drag him on snow as the steepness of a
slope allowed to make it. Thus, we have rather quickly overcome about 500
meters of a slope, up to a meeting with a Sherpa, which without a backpack
went on upward.
Sherpa spoke English quite
good and he has explained to me, that he was from other Italian expedition,
and that he was ready to help me to lower a victim. We began to drag him
together downwards. Members of second part of our team which should go this
night on an ascent began to pass upward. To this moment I was sure, that we
shall manage to lower Marco in camp of 7700 m, and I have refused from their
On a next flat place, I have
stopped descent - it was necessary to make the second injection dexametazon.
Warming up beforehand a syringe in palms, I have entered to him a doze of a
medicine, this time - direct through trousers. Then French girls came from
above, bearing 10 meter of a rope to belay us in steep parts.
We have continued descent,. I
went still ahead, practically bearing Marco on myself - he has pulled hard on
me, and Sherpa (then I have found out that he called Mingma), went behind,
belaying us with a rope. The French went behind us, but, having
understood, that they can not render real help, they have overtaken us with
words that will try at 7700 m to find somebody from members of his expedition.
Many forces took away when we
passed groups which went up. The track was very narrow and at such moments of
overtaking the Italian simply completely lay down on me, taking away all
forces. But deximetazon and oxygen slowly started to operate and, gradually
loading on me has decreased. To tell the truth, at that moment, I was out
of forces - oxygen in my cylinder was finished. To the camp at height 7900 m
(a camp of Russel Brice), I came as in a fog, already hardly understanding
what is up.
Having fallen among tents of
camp 7900m, we simply were lying, coming to the senses. At this time Sherpas
of Russell have started to gather around of our company, trying to find out :
who - whom rescues. On that moment Marco, probably, looked better than I and
Mingma. In my mouth it was completely dry. We could not speak, only show,
that we need something to drink. Only after 10 minutes, we could explain a
Knowing that Russell never
denies assistance, I have asked him by radio to give us one oxygen cylinder
for maintenance rescue. I understood, that if I and Mingma still could move
without oxygen, it simply may kill Marco. Fortunately Russell has agreed, and
the required cylinder was allocated without problems. Having put on regulator
for three liters per minute, we have continued our descent. The track became
much worse - rocky outputs on which it was impossible to drag.
It was necessary to charge him
on my back again. In my eyes all darkened more strongly - I did not sleep and
do not eat more than a day, working on a route at height 8000 meters and
having visited the summit of Everest. When we at last reached the camp 7700m I
was as in a half-delirium.
Having failed near first of
our tent, we three laid without movement about half hour. Sherpas from
Korean expedition which stood nearby, with surprise observed us, and have
then guessed to bring a little hot tea. After that more fresh Mingma had
risen and went to tents of Koreans, and I have forced myself to unbutton a
tent and have half dragged myself inside. The Italian has remained to lay on
snow outside. From drowsiness in which I have failed, I was pulled out by
come back of Mingma.
We should go because soon
oxygen will be finished and then nothing will rescue Marco. Mingma has again
fixed Marco to itself and has dragged him downwards. In the meantime I have
decided to lie down some more in tent, coming to the senses. I remember
that some people going upwards looked and asked me: where is my personal
Sherpa or guide ? Probably I was looked rather bad, but my answers was «Go,
go your way, I am a guide and Sherpa, I need no help», people is surprised
shrugged shoulders and offered me some oxygen.
After about 20 minutes, a
little bit having come in myself, I began descent downwards, having thrown out
preliminary from the backpack an empty oxygen cylinder and something from
Rather soon I have caught up
Мingma with the client. I have again gone ahead, belaying. Soon I noticed
that his coordination improved. Approaching to our camp on 7000 m, Marco
moved practically independently. In camp I have told our cook Gumbu, that he
was going to hot a soup and tea and, having planted the Italian on a chair, I
has gone to learn the latest news about my own group. Practically all our
clients were at 7000 m in the North Col camp and slept in tents, only
Azerbaijanian Israfil Ashurly and German Dirk Feige have gone down in camp
ABC on height 6400 m.
Everything was in the order,
and I have returned to the Italian. After soup, I have asked him to take
tablets of dymox and trental.
Unfortunately, he did not speak
English, so I and Maxim Shakirov could not extend from him any information.
Marco answered all our words only «no comprendo», and Маx in Italian knew only
words "Pinocchio" and "Cippolino". In the meantime, it darkened. Having
talked with Мingma, we have decided to not leave Marco on North Col and to
continue descent downwards in camp of 6400 m. I saw, that the guy has
practically come to the senses, and told to Mingma began descent without
I had planned to start a bit
later and then overtake them. But probably my forces were out, as, starting
10 minutes later, I could overtake them only at «crampons point» at 6600 m.
Therefrom to the camp 6400 m it was about half hour walkings.
On a way a Sherpa from Italian
expedition met us with a thermos of hot tea and then I have gone further
alone. I just had asked Mingma to visit our camp next morning. Unfortunately,
I had not seen him again, because in the night Hannah Shields felt badly
and early in the next morning we began descent to the Base Camp.
VIDEO (wmv file)
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