The deadly K-2 has struck yet again, claiming another victim, Vitaly Gorelik of the Russian K-2 Winter Expedition and the attempt has been called off altogether.
Known for their resilience and immense mental strenght, the gigantic Russian team better known as the "Ice Warriors" have been forced to abandon the attempt to tame the mighty K-2 in winters, and the mountain remains virgin for the first successful winter ascent. The news broke the headlines earlier in the afternoon on February 6, when the Russian team reported the tragic demise of Gorelik in the Base Camp.
_ The transmitted message read:
"Today at 11:30am Vitaly Gorelik has passed away in BC. Condolences to Vitaly's family and friends from all members in the team."
Gorelik had been severely frostbitten for the last two days and had been waiting evacuation by the Pakistan Millitary choppers. The evacuation, however, could not be carried out as the deadly Jetstream pounded the Karakorum the whole weekend.
After Gorelik's death, team leader Viktor Kozlov has decided to abandon the expedition and said, "The expedition is over. 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 to bad weather conditions: a wind and snow storm."
_ Earlier, the team had already reached 7,200m and were now locked head-on with the "Death Valley" amid fierce weather and -40 below freezing temperatures.Gorelik had made the deposits in the past two days at Camp-2 and Camp-3 and had suffered severe frostbite on fingers of both hands. While the team doctor did whatever he could, an evacuation was the only refuge to save Gorelik's life. The deadly grasp of the Karakorum, however, did not allow that.
Pakistan-explorer.com expresses its deepest condolensces to Gorelik's family. RIP