May Dispatch: Stuart
and Chris reached the summit today at 3:15
Friday, 24th May, at approximately 5:30 pm. Chris fell
to his death from around 8,400 meters. He had reached
the summit, and was climbing back down to the Camp 6
at around 7900 meters, from where he and Stu had
started their ascent. Stu, who was standing ten meters
below Chris at the time of the fall, heard Chris
exclaim and then turned to look over his shoulder to
see Chris sliding, trying to stop his fall. Stu
descended to the Camp 6 and found Chris dead from
injuries sustained during his fall. He arrived at Camp
6 at about 7:10 pm, giving Paul and Mike the sad news
which was immediately radioed to Dan at Base Camp.
weather was good all day, with very little wind and
generally clear skies. At the time of the accident,
visibility was good, as the two climbers could see
Paul and Mike (who had come from Camp 5) setting up
another tent in Camp 6 approximately 400 meters below
them. After climbing to the summit both climbers were
tired, and Chris seemed to be a bit more tired than
Stu. Chris was negotiating a 50 centimeter rock step
when the accident occurred. During the fall, Chris had
dropped his ice axe and ski pole. Stu estimated the
slope angle at this point to be approximately 25
degrees. The surface of the snow was "wind slab",
where he fell, and then turned to rock. Chris tumbled
down the wind slab for about 30 meters before
disappearing from Stu's sight.
on the 24th, Ivan, Julio, Malte, and Felix moved up to
Camp 4 from Camp 2. Steve and Dan were in Base Camp.
entire Kangchenjunga team sends their condolences to
Chris' family and loved ones.
Christopher Hugh Grasswick was one of the members of
12 member American Kanchenjunga Expedition team, which
was permitted to climb 8586 - meter high Mt.
Kanchenjunga from North Face under the leadership of
Mr. Daniel Mazur (1960), Doctor from Seattle,
Washington, USA during the Spring Season of 2002.
Sincerely, Daniel Mazur from http://www.SummitClimb.com