Like as Anatoli Boukreev is very synonymous with Russia and his toughness on the mountain, then the name Alexei Bolotov is not much different. Bolotov is one of the modern Russian climbers with significant achievements and career in mountaineering. He made many extraordinary difficult ascents, he received two Piolet d’Or trophies for his outstanding achievements and climbs.
Alexei Bolotov entered the Himalayas for the first time in 1997, when he was a member of the Russian expeditionary team that made the successful ascent of the right side of the West Face of Makalu. Bolotov was taking part in the Ekaterinburg Expedition which specifically had the ambition of reaching Makalu Peak via the west pillar and solving the technical challenges on the route.
Although the ascent at Makalu is an expedition-style climb (classic style, typical of the early history of mountaineering in the Himalayas), the high technical difficulties, as well as the time spent by climbers several days at an altitude of 7,400 meters, make this climb very impressive. Two members of the expedition died, while Bolotov and several other Russian climbers made it to the top and descended safely. The Piolet d’Or was awarded for this deadly climb.
In 1998 Bolotov continued his ascent on Everest via the normal route.
But in 1999 he returned to a significant presence in the Himalayas by successfully making the ascent of Thalay Sagar via the north side in a direttissima manner. Then in 2001, Alexei Bolotov became one of the main Russian climbers who managed to reach the top of Lhotse Middle.
As is well known, Lhotse Middle is one of the eight thousand meter peaks in the Himalayas that was not reached until the 2000s. And Lhotse Middle is also the only eight thousand-meter peak of the Himalayas whose first ascent was reached by Russian climbers.
In 2002 Alexei Bolotov returned to Everest and made his second summit without oxygen cylinders. Then in 2004 Alexei again participated in a significant expedition for the ascent of the North Face of Jannu (Khumbakarna Mountain). Jannu’s ascent was also the second ascent followed by Bolotov who was awarded the Piolet d’Or for his high level of technical difficulty.
After climbing on Jannu, in the following years Bolotov concentrated more on the fourteen eight thousanders circuit, he climbed Dhaulagiri, Cho Oyu, Manaslu and Kangchenjunga in those years. Then in 2009 Alexei Bolotov along with Denis Urubko were awarded the Spirit of Mountaineering Commendation for their participation in the rescue effort of the dying Spanish climber (Inaki Ochoa de Olza) on the eastern ridge of the Annapurna South Face in 2008.
In addition to Bolotov and Urubko, there were also the names of Ueli Steck and Simon Anthamatten and a Romanian climber named Horia Colibasanu who took part in the rescue of Ochoa. Ochoa, however, ended up still dying on the ridge, after being assisted by Ueli Steck the day before who gave him first aid.
The year 2013 in May, when Alexei Bolotov died while trying to build a new route to the southwest of Everest, was a tragic moment and left a mystery as to the cause of his death.
In general, two versions have developed regarding the cause of Bolotov’s death. The first is a statement saying that Bolotov fell 300 meters and landed heavily on rocks at Western CWM. Bolotov’s fall was when he was rappelling to get down. When one part of the rope he was using rubbed against a sharp stone slat, the rope then broke and sent Bolotov 300 meters to his tragic death.
Then there is also a second theory which says that Bolotov’s death was caused by a rockfall that hit his body and head. Bolotov died instantly at that time.
Whichever of these two outward causes of Bolotov’s death is true, Russia and even the world have lost one of its best mountaineers. Alexei Bolotov was 50 years old when he died Everest, he left behind a wife and two children.
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Most of the articles in this blog are translated by Google Translate from Indonesian-language mountaineering books written by Anton Sujarwo
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