Diary

David Craig

An 11-person team of Ukrainian cavers were wading through the snow on the way down from the Arabika massif in the western Caucasus on a January night. They had just descended the Krubera Cave to a depth of 1710 metres, thus breaking the world record. As they neared an avalanche zone above the tree-line, they split into two groups, so that if one was snowed under, the other would be able to attempt a rescue. Snow thundered down and the youngest member, Anatoli Povykalo, just 18, was overwhelmed. The others dug him out, unharmed. They spent the night in the forest, where hundreds of trees had been snapped off a few metres above the ground. Next day they reached the trail-head and were trucked out to triumphant receptions in Kiev and Moscow.

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