Dan Mazur's Kangchenjunga Spring 2002

24 May Dispatch: Stuart and Chris reached the summit today at 3:15 pm. 

On 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.

The 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.

Also on the 24th, Ivan, Julio, Malte, and Felix moved up to Camp 4 from Camp 2. Steve and Dan were in Base Camp.

The entire Kangchenjunga team sends their condolences to Chris' family and loved ones.

Mr. 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


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