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May 152013
Everest West Shoulder above C1 in 2008

Everest West Shoulder above C1 in 2008

Early reports are in that Alexey Bolotov, has died near Camp 1 in the Western Cwm. He was climbing with Denis Urubko on a new route on SW Face.

It appears he was climbing towards the West Ridge but his body was reported to have been found near the top of the Khumbu Icefall at 5600m. Details are always difficult at this point but we have this direct quote from Denis Urubko as he told this:

 I do not know how to write this. Alexey Bolotov to descend on a rope. Due to scroll on a sharp rock edge frayed rope. Bolotov fell on the rocky gully to a depth of about 300 meters. Death was instantaneous.


from Tim Rippel, Peak Freaks:

Alexi died at the base of a potential new route. He had apparently taken a helicopter over to an area as a reconnaissance. When the pilot went back to get him he was found dead on the glacier.  He wasn’t actually climbing so they don’t know if it was rock fall or what happened. Other reports said something about a severed rope but facts are all unclear at this time.

The details remain unclear as his body was reported to have been found at 5600m/18,362′, but the base of the SW Face is near Camp 2 at 21,000’/6400m and not near the top of the Khumbu Icefall. In prior interviews they had said the new route would start at 6500 meters on the SW Face. They were planning on climbing alpine style. The last update had them starting their summit climb planning on 8 days up and 2 days down.

The Nepal Mountaineering Association made this statement:

Aleksle Bolotov (50), a Russian dies on Everest – 15 may
A Russian climber names Aleksle Bolotov was crushed to death by a falling boulder while he was undergoing rock climbing training in the Everest region on Wednesday morning. He was killed after he was hit by a boulder rolling down the hill. He was heading to Mt Lhotse’s base camp from the Everest base camp to partake in the rock-climbing training this morning. Mr. Bolotov was a member of the International Everest South West Expedition team that is on the expedition of Mt Lhotse.

I am sure details will come out over time and there is no need to speculate further. My condolences to his family, Denis and friends.

Climb Updates

With this sad backdrop, teams continued to make their way higher positioning for summit bids. The latest forecast has the ‘window’ between May 18th – 21st.

The North teams have been ly waiting but are now massing at Advanced Base Camp preparing for their summit push at the end of this week.

On the South, The US Air Force group climbed back to Camp 2 and reported calm winds but extremely hot in the Western Cwm. The Indian team from Pune made are now at the South Col as is Melissa Arnot.

Winds were still a bit high on the upper mountain but are expected to begin calming tonight as the jet stream moves north. Some teams may attempt their summit tonight, Wednesday.

Alpine Ascents are now at Camp 3 and gave this update:

The Team left camp 2 at 6am this morning with clear skies and crisp cold weather. They made good time up the Lhotse Face and have arrived safely in Camp 3. They report consistent winds up on the Lhotse Face with some stronger gusts, but nothing unmanageable. The climbers will spend the rest of the day eating, drinking, and relaxing as they can on the side of the face. They will sleep on oxygen tonight for the first time which will help them get good rest before they push to the South Col tomorrow.

The are still many teams at Base Camp waiting for the next window. Adventure Consultants posted:

Today is the Lhotse Team’s last day at EBC before heading up for the big summit, and the Everest Team have one more day at Base Camp (tomorrow) before they head up. NOW everyone is beginning to get really excited. Lots has been happening, not at our base camp so much, but with people from other expeditions summitting in high and cold winds, a few having to turn around near the Hillary Step, few frostbite cases…

I will update this page later today as more news emerges. Meanwhile look for potential summits tonight.


There are 35 climbers reported at the South Col on Wednesday night. Winds were moderate but we can assume many will go for the summit arriving early Thursday morning, May 16.

Climb On!
Memories are Everything

Comments on/from Facebook

  20 Responses to “Everest 2013: Winds Calm but Shocking Death of Alexey Bolotov – Updated”


    May your Soul Rest in Peace Alexey Bolotov…


    RIP Alexey. You will be climbing wherever you are. Very sad day. RIP to the Sherpa who lost their lives too. Very sad. Niko.


    RIP another sad news 🙁 seen some horrible photo of his body on social media by HRA staff. I think that is very wrong. People should some respect of the diseased and his family.


    Very sad news. RIP


    Very sad news RIP Alexey Bolotov


    Hi Alan.

    I don’t climb, never have and never will. I’m just an arm chair supporter. I just want to ask, there have been 5 deaths so far this year, but how does this compare to previous years? As in the last 10 years or so?


    Sad news indeed, R.I.P Alexey, may your climbs be peaceful now,

    Alan, is that all the new routes now over? Such a shame so early


      Yes. There were 3 planned. The north side never got funded. Moro/Steck stopped after the fight and now this tragedy.


        I was so looking forward to something different, such a shame all ended in bad circumstances, my condolences to family and friends


    RIP Alexey Bolotov.

    Been a sad season in many ways this year.


    So sad to hear of Alexey Bolotov’s passing. I was greatly looking forward to seeing this team’s plans come to completion. My condolences to Alexey’s family, Denis, and the climbing community.


    It’s very sad news…!!! R.I.P. Alexey Bolotov….!!


    Another fine blog but sad to hear the news of Alexey. Thoughts go to his friends and family Cheers Kate


    Is this a freak accident, Alan? Have there been other recent deaths/near deaths from frayed rope?

    Second question- where are you physically, Alan?


      Mallory, They were climbing in a very difficult and rocky area, not on the normal route. While rare, ropes being cut by rocks does occur in climbing at all altitudes and terrains. I am in Colorado.


    Sad News indeed. R.I.P Alexey Bolotov.


    Very sad news indeed Alan. Everest rears up and roars again. Condolences with the family.


    Sad news R.I.P. Alexey Bolotov.