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40th anniversary of the first Bulgarians to climb Everest

Hristo Prodanov
Photo: Archive

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first Bulgarian expedition to climb Everest, the world's highest peak. 

On 20 April 1984, 41-year-old Hristo Prodanov climbed the most difficult western slope without an oxygen mask. He reached the summit at 6.10pm and reported his climb by radio. He remained there for 32 minutes. 

On his way down, he reported that it was getting dark and the weather was bad, so he was going to abort his descent and look for a place to spend the night. The next day, he reported that he was in a serious condition. Attempts by other members of the expedition to locate him were unsuccessful. Hristo Prodanov died.

On 8 May, Ivan Valchev and Metodi Savov set foot on Everest, followed on 9 May by Nikolai Petkov and Kiril Doskov, the other members of the expedition.

In a poll of BNT viewers, the dramatic 1984 Everest ascent was voted the "Bulgarian sporting event of the twentieth century".

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