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Two Fatal Accidents in the Himalaya
Kathmandu, Nepal -Wednesday, May 1, 2002


Everest 2002 News Photo
Makalu from Everest

Photo:Ed Viesturs

Tragedy struck the slopes of two 8000-meter Himalayan peaks twice in five days, Nepal's Ministry of Culture, Tourism & Civil Aviation reported today.

In addition to the death of 38-year-old British climber Peter Legate, who was killed yesterday on Mount Everest, an American climber was found dead Friday, April 26, on 8463-meter Makalu, the Kathmandu-based Ministry reported.

Legate of Lymington, Hampshire, lost his footing and slipped 200 meters into a crevasse while descending from Camp III to Camp II after fixing a rope. Legate was with a nine-member Himalayan Guides Everest Expedition trying to climb the 8,849-meter peak via the traditional Southeast Ridge route. The climbers were on the mountain under the leadership of guide Geoffrey Stanford, the Ministry reported.

The American who died on Makalu has been identified as Raymond David "R.D." Caughron, an energy management consultant from Berkeley, California. Caughron, a highly experienced climber, was found dead by two members of a Swiss Expedition.

According to Ministry reports, bad weather forced Caughron to bivouac Thursday, April 25, on the slopes of Makalu, the fifth highest mountain in the world. Caughron was part of the 12-member International IYM Makalu Expedition, led by Polish guide Piotr Pustelnik, seeking the summit via the Northwest Ridge route. Caughron had been a member of a number of Pustelnik-led expeditions, including 1996's K2 Northridge attempt, and March 2001's Kangchenjunga Expedition, on which Caughron made it to 7000 meters.

Further details will be posted as they are verified.

Jiban Ghimire, Correspondent

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