Francys Asteniev (1958-1998)

francys arsentiev mount everest alive

Francys Arsentiev wanted to be the first woman to make it to the top of Everest without the use of bottled oxygen. She succeeded on May 22, 1998, but died two days later on her way down from the mountain. Details of what happened are not entirely clear. She was separated from her husband, Sergei, at a high altitude. He made it back to camp, but went back to find her the following day once he realized she wasn’t there. A group of climbers encountered her on their way up and said she was suffering from oxygen deprivation and frostbite. They were unable to help her. She died on May 24, 1998 at the age of 40. Her husband’s body was found a year later, having suffered a fatal fall while looking for his wife. They left behind a son.

francys astentiev flag body mount everest

Francys Astentiev’s remains on Mount Everest

francys astentiev flag body mount everest

(L) Francys Astentiev’s body serves as a marker for climbers (R) Her body was draped with an American flag