The Mount Everest climbing tragedy: an investigation

RIGA, Latvia, May 29, 2018 – ASKfm, an Irish company with base of operations in Latvia and Ukraine, has conducted its own thorough investigation into the disappearance of a local person accompanying an expedition to Mount Everest sponsored by ASKfm.  

The Ukrainian expedition to Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse was organized by the Kuluar Alpine Club. Professional mountaineers Taraz Pozdnii, Irina Galai, Dmitry Semerenko, and Roman Gorodechnyi were all part of the group. The expedition aimed to break several records, including reaching both summits in a single climb and scaling Lhotse without oxygen tanks.

At ASKfm we are always eager to support such initiatives. As the company is currently preparing for an ICO, we came up with a simple idea: the expedition would place a cryptocurrency wallet holding ASKT tokens at the summit. We sponsored the team because they share our passion for cryptocurrencies.

Nevertheless, the expedition didn’t go as planned. To form a detailed account of what happened, we spoke to all the parties involved: the climbers themselves, and the local Sherpa community. The account below is based on communications with the expedition’s members, alpinism experts, and Mingma Sherpa, Chairman of the Seven Summit Treks Company—the organization responsible for employing the Sherpa guides.

The four climbers trained at Everest base camp and prepared to start their trek to the summit between May 13 and May 16. Different Sherpas were contracted through Seven Summit Treks throughout the expedition and were periodically replaced by others. A week prior to the final ascent, Dmitry and Roman met the Sherpas that would accompany them to the summit. Sherpas are a local group of individuals accustomed to the climate and altitude who accompany and assist climbers on their way to the summit. They climbed alongside Taras, Dmitry, and Roman, carrying oxygen tanks and other gear.

The team, along with three Sherpa guides, reached Mt. Everest’s peak, but had to quickly descend as weather conditions deteriorated. Between reaching the summit and the subsequent descent, the three Sherpas, who were descending together as a group, fell well behind the mountaineers who were trying to quickly avoid rapidly worsening weather conditions.

As the team made its descent without their Sherpa guides, they saw an unaccompanied Chinese climber named Saber Liu who was in critical condition. He didn’t have an eye protection mask, his oxygen tank was malfunctioning and was missing one glove in addition.

Despite the risks, the group helped Liu return safely to camp 4. Liu confirmed his safety and even sent a letter of gratitude after leaving with his team. Below is the letter sent by Liu to Roman Gorodechnyi:

I went down alone because I tried to ask help from another Sherpa ahead of me to help my Sherpa who was running out off energy and losing capability to support me, but I fell down at least 50 meters before stopping myself. I had to continue down myself without oxygen.

Here I will say thank you again for your help, without your support I would’ve been left there forever”

All of the mountaineers reached camp 4 after facing a critical situation during the descent in which Roman developed altitude sickness. This left the team with no choice but to spend a night at camp 4. Two of the Sherpas made it to camp 4 from the summit lagging behind the mountaineers, however, the news of missing Sherpa was not discovered until the next morning.  The two remaining Sherpas on this leg of the expedition were the last people to see the Sherpa that subsequently went missing.

After reaching camp 2, the mountaineers contacted an air rescue team and were evacuated the next morning due to health concerns. Their condition is now stable.

Since these events transpired, it has since been confirmed by Nepalese authorities and Seven Summit Treks that Sherpa Lam Babu is missing and presumed dead after search and rescue efforts yielded no results.

For further details regarding the efforts to recover Lam Babu, we direct all inquiries to his employer, Seven Summit Treks. We ask everyone to respect the family’s privacy during this difficult time.