07.08.2009

We did not make it... We were catastrophically under-acclimatized, yet we fought bravely, striking up our assault camp ever higher. We decided to assault the summit not from the classical altitude of 6,100 meters, but from the rather unusual 6,500 meters. Eventually, at 6 a.m. on August, 7 we were already at the 6,700-meter mark, with a mere 400 vertical meters separating us from the summit, which we hoped to clear in 2 - 2.5 hours. We would have made it beyond doubt, but at this very moment one of our guides said that he went blind. A superficial examination revealed that he suffered from extreme brain edema, so we faced a choice between the summit and a human life. It's understood that we turned back and started transporting Viktor down. He is now at a hospital in Osh, and we are at the 4,300-meter camp, alive and unharmed, albeit without a summit. Under the Soviets there was a rule that a team would have the summit put on its record if it turned back due to a rescue operation. Yet this somehow does not make it easier for us..