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Gorelik the star climber of Russia (photo Alex website)

Angela Benavides) “Today at 11:30am Vitaly Gorelik has passed away in BC,” a brief report from the Russian K2 winter expedition reads.

“Condolences to Vitaly’s family and friends from all members in the team.” While further details are expected, the team leader Viktor Kozlov has decided to call the attempt off altogether. “The expedition is over,” he reported. “All members Base Camp are preparing to head down. We’ve ordered a helicopter to airlift Vitaly’s boby, but the chopper is grounded due t bad weather conditions: a wind and snow storm.” Seriously frostbitten Vitaly had resulted frostbitten on the team’s latest climb above 7,000 meters, two weeks ago. Together with Nick Totmjanin and Valery Shamalo and Vitaly carried gear to 7,000 meters anf fixed ropes further up for 4 days, until they a fresh 3-men team (Iljas Tukhvatullin, Andrew Mariev and Vadim Popovich) took teir place. By Feb 2, however, all team members were back in BC, ready to wait out a forecasted spell of bad weather. Evacuation impossible due to bad weather Vitaly Gorelik had returned with frostbitten fingers in both hands. “The doctor is helping him with the first aid,” the team reported back then . “We’ve ordered a heli evacuation, but current weather allows no flights.” The mountain has been wrapped in a fierce storm since then, reventing the badly needed rescue chopper to reach BC. The news has quickly spread among other teams currently in pakistan 8000ers. Simone Moro, in Nanga Parbat’s BC, points to a heart attack as cause of Vitaly’s death, according to conversations with members in the Russian team. “Denis is in very low spirits,” Moro added. “He was a very good friend of Gorelik’s.”

original source: k2climb.net