Letter from the cavers of Sokolniki-RUDN

On Friday September 7, 2012 we buried Alexei Saveliev. He was a handsome bright-minded guy, sweet person and Great Caver.

On August 16, 2912 Alexei Saveliev and Alexei Axyonov installed a cave-camp behind the forth siphon in the V.Ilukhin cave system, and during two days they successfully explored new galleries.

This unprecedented expedition had been preparing for seven years, and the cavers have done it. Their pioneering underground and underwater way in the most impregnable on Earth karst precipice can be compared with famous expeditions of Peary and Cook to the North Pole, of Amundsen and Scott to the South Pole, of Hillary and Tensing to Everest.

Such an expedition is a challenge and risk, and those who go need skill and power, but else – fortune. There was a tragic lack of fortune. On August 20, 2012, on his way back in the second siphon Alexei Saveliev perished.

But with us stay his glory and eternal memory.

Hundreds of people made their best to let parents and friends of Alexei Saveliev to come to his grave at Khovanskoye cemetery in Moscow.

Tens of caver, voluntary rescue teems from Russia, Ukraine, Byelorussia and Abkhazia postponed their urgent needs and came to Arabica Mountain. Philip Chrednichenko and Amina Chanysheva were first to descend to the camp-980. Then Philip took on himself a heavy load of organization of the rescue job. Caver Tatyana Gnedash headed the information and coordination center. Dmitry Molev managed organizational tasks at the sea coast. Abkhazian government, Minister of ecology Roman Dbar organized participation of the country’s rescue team.

Cavers Gennadiy Samokhin, Mikhail Tsybizov, Vladimir Akimov and Alexei Axionov fulfilled hard and dangerous work in the gallery behind first siphon and in the siphon. Yuri Kasyan helped to project and organize accident-free transportation from one-kilometer depth to the surface. Cavers from Saint-Petersburg, Minsk, Ufa, Kiev, Saratov, Moscow, Sukhum and other cities widened narrow passages, added extra ropes, settled additional camps, transported the stretcher up the huge cave, provided nutrition and possible comfort for tens of cavers, realized connection and handled the action.

Colonel Alexei Shtykov solved hard medical, juridical and transport problems in cities of Gagra and Sochi. Cavers of our club supported the parents of Alexei Saveliev. Many persons from Russia, Ukraine, Byelorussia, Lithuania, Romania, Spain and France sent money and rendered moral aid.

To all those who helped – our appreciation and deep gratitude.


Cavers of the Speleological Club Sokolniki-RUDN (source: http://www.sokolniki-rudn.org/www/officialy/report/alex_savelev_psi_2012_press_en.doc)




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