Five climbers died after getting caught in a snowstorm while on the highest mountain in Europe, Russia’s Mount Elbrus.
Fourteen other members of the group were rescued in strong winds and low visibility amid temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius, the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said on September 24.
Eleven of the survivors were taken to hospital.
The September 23 incident occurred when the 19 climbers were at an altitude of over 5,000 meters.
Elbrus, located in Russia’s North Caucasus, peaks at 5,642 meters.
The group of climbers came from 11 regions of Russia, Interfax reported.
The company that organized the climb said there were four professional guides accompanying the group.
The group of Russian climbers sent out a mayday call just after 5 p.m. (1400 GMT) on Thursday, the ministry added. Eleven of the survivors were taken to hospital.
One woman fell ill and died in the arms of one of the guides, Denis Alimov, who helped organise the climb, told TASS news agency.
Another climber broke his leg as he was coming down and the party decided to split into three groups depending on who could go fastest.
Two climbers froze to death and two others lost consciousness and died as they were brought down the mountain, according to the company.
The decision to split up was the right one, otherwise there might have been more casualties said Alimov.
Guides with the group suffered frostbite and other injuries, Mount Elbrus, which rises to 5,642 metres (18,510 feet) just north of the border with Georgia, is infamous for sudden changes in weather and climbing conditions.