Ep. 169 – The Khamar Daban Incident

On August 2, 1993, Lyudmila Korvina, who was an experienced hiking instructor, led 6 of her students on a hiking trip to the Khamar Daban mountain range in southern Siberia. The first 2 days of the hike, the group did really well, beating the time anticipated to get up the Retranslyator peak. However, when they were beginning their descent on August 4th, they were hit with a rainstorm which slowed them down. The following morning, the group set off down the mountain but after only a few minutes the first disaster struck. Sacha, who was at the back of the group, began to scream. When the group turned around, they saw that he was bleeding from his eyes & his ears as well as frothing at the mouth. It didn’t take long before every single member but one succumbed to the same symptoms.

Valentina Utochenko, the only surviving member, ran for her life not fully understanding what was happening. For 4 days, she followed power lines down the mountain, until she found a river & began to follow that. In August 10th, she was found by a group of kayakers. An autopsy report concluded that they had all died of hypothermia except for Lyudmila who had suffered a heart attack. They all had signs of bruised lungs, & protein deficiency due to malnutrition was listed as a contributing factor to their deaths. The deaths were ultimately ruled to be accidental. 

What happened on that Khamar Daban hiking trip? Join us on episode 169 to hear more!