We just received an SMS to say that there had been a large avalanche on Khan Tengri and that 6 people have died with lots more missing. We have been told that the avalanche happened on the South side. We are at the moment sitting about 2m below the summit of Chapayev, so we are very, very safe.
We don’t know any more details, but the route we have climbed (North Side) whilst being much technically harder (steeper, lots of mixed ice and rock), is much safer than the South, which although is easier, is very avalanche prone. We made a difficult choice when we decided to climb this mountain as to the route, but we took the harder, but safer option. Our thoughts go out to the families of the dead and missing people.
Unfortunately we can’t contact base camp, as our radio doesn’t work, so they won’t yet know that we are OK, but I am sure that they won’t be concerned given their knowledge of our route.
At the moment it’s about 10am here and we are waiting for the wind to die down (hopefully), so we can move onto camp 4. This is also safe from avalanches.
Paul & Fiona at camp 3.