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K2: details on the fight for Vitaly Gorelik

Posted: Feb 09, 2012 12:52 am EST

(Tina Sjogren) "You can publish the details because many have asked," Lena Laletina from RussianClimb told ExplorersWeb today.

So here goes a bit more on what happened on K2 to Russian climber Vitaly Gorelik.

Vitaly, Totmjanin and Shamalo reached 7000 meters on K2 late January (28-31). Nick (Totmjanin) fixed two more rope lengths after which the men descended.

In addition to frostbite, Gorelik was diagnosed with pneumonia the day after he had returned to BC (on February 1st). The team ordered a heli evacuation that same day but the chopper was unable to arrive due to the big storm that unfolded soon after.

Vitaly was sick with pneumonia for four days, on a respirator for the final two days, and died in the morning of day 5. He would have needed deep ventilation lungs, unfortunately those are only available in hospital.

The team doctor is a veteran who had been on many expeditions including Everest North Face, and K2 West Face. Even with his best effort, the team's fast response, and the resourceful expedition, Vitaly could not be saved.

#Mountaineering #Medical

File image of Vitaly Gorelik on Peak Pobeda.
Image by Denis Urubko courtesy Denis Urubko, SOURCE