CSAC Avalanche Incident


Aconcagua - February 5, 1998

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Three Brazilians die on Argentine mountain climb

Reuters - 5 February 1998

BUENOS AIRES - Three Brazilian climbers died on Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in the Americas, after being swept over a precipice by avalanches, Argentine authorities said Thursday.

The five-man Brazilian team had reached an altitude of 20,000 feet on the Andes range peak when they were caught in a blizzard, Eduardo Torres of the Aconcagua park in Mendoza province told local media.

"After an avalanche one of the climbers fell into an abyss, and the other two were left hanging onto their ropes," Torres said.

A second avalanche then swept the other two climbers off their ropes. The two others managed to trudge down alive.

"It's almost impossible to rescue the bodies for now. There's no way anyone could reach the place because the storm at that altitude would mean almost certain death," Torres said.

The Brazilians had tried to climb the dangerous southern face of the 23,000-foot high mountain, on the border of central Argentina and Chile.

Torres identified the dead as Othon Leonardos, Alexandre Da Silva D'Oliveira and Mozart Hastenreidr Camaud.

Six foreign climbers have now died on Aconcagua over the past two months during the southern hemisphere summer climbing season.

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