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A Climber We Lost: Pavel Kostrikin

Each January we post a farewell tribute to those members of our community lost in the year just past. Some of the people you may have heard of, some not. All are part of our community and contributed to climbing.


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You can read the full tribute to Climbers We Lost in 2022 here.

Pavel Kostrikin, 55, March 7

Russian mountaineer Pavel Kostrikin led a diverse and full life filled with a vast catalog of endeavors, from teaching and publishing on a wealth of topics—including economics, mathematics, and civil engineering—to founding the popular independent music label GEOMETRY. The 55-year-old died on Everest (8,048 m) March 7, 2022. 

Born in the western Russian town of Tver (pre-Soviet breakup known as Kailin) on March 11, 1967, Kostrikin embarked on a lengthy academic career after high school, first earning a degree in applied mathematics (1991) from Moscow State University, later degrees in accounting and “Control and Analysis of Economic Activity” (1994) from the Republican Polytechnic College, and then a degree in international economic relations from the All-Russian Academy of Foreign Trade (1996), eventually a doctorate of economics. 

Kostrikin taught at the Moscow State University’s Civil Engineering department since 2001, and authored over 60 scientific and educational works during his lengthy academic career. His published work covered a wide array of complex topics, many public service-related, ranging from the effectiveness of Russian state housing renovation programs to “innovative approaches in the field of low–rise housing construction” and economic effects of public incentives for mortgage rate reduction. Since 2015, Kostrikin also served as Chairman of the Audit Commission for  the Moscow Investors Association.

In addition to his prolific career in academia, Kostrikin was a savvy entrepreneur. He founded a series of construction companies, and notably, a popular independent record label, GEOMETRY, in 2001. 

The label, focused on “Russian (post-Soviet) rock music and congenial avant-garde and free jazz” remains active today, and has published a number of well-received records during it’s 21-year-career, including one, Kontora Kooka’s “CHEK,” which Rolling Stone named in the Top 10 Albums of the Year in 2013. Kostrikin also owned and operated his own record store, “House of Culture,” near Moscow’s Park Pobedy, which also housed an open bar and held weekly concerts for the public.

Kostrikin died of acute mountain sickness (AMS) at Camp I on Everest (8,048 m), at an approximate elevation of 20,000 feet. Kostrikin was climbing with Alex Abramov’s outfitter the 7 Summits Club. It was his third attempt on the world’s highest mountain, after bids in 2013 and 2016. “It was no secret [Kostrikin] loved outdoor activities and mountain tourism,” read a statement from House of Culture posted on Instagram shortly after his death. “During his 55 years of life, Pavel climbed six of the seven major peaks [of each] continent and made three attempts to conquer the latter. One time the group was caught by an earthquake, the other [they turned back] only 150 meters [from] the top.”

“[Kostrikin] was an active person and kept his finger on the pulse of all affairs to the last,” the statement continued. “Thanks to Pavel, all colleagues felt not just part of a team, but almost a family, in which he was a brother; the eldest not because of age, but thanks to the experience that he shared.”

—Owen Clarke

You can read the full tribute to Climbers We Lost in 2022 here.