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Bad Weather Prevents Airlift of Stranded K2 Climber


Pakistani military officials say thick clouds are preventing rescue helicopters from attempting to airlift an Italian climber stranded on K-2 mountain after an avalanche and exposure killed 11 fellow climbers.

A group of rescuers reached Marco Confortola on foot Monday and helped him descend to a base camp, which is still some six-thousand meters high.

Rescuers say he is receiving basic medical treatment while awaiting evacuation by helicopter. Pakistani officials say pilots are ready and waiting for an improvement in the weather.

Several people climbing with Confortola were killed Friday when an ice wall on K-2 collapsed, sweeping away the fixed lines they were using in their descent. Others died from frostbite and exhaustion. Two climbers ascending the mountain also died.

It was the deadliest day on record for climbers on the world's second-highest mountain.

On Monday, Pakistani army helicopters airlifted two frostbitten Dutch survivors from a K-2 base camp to a hospital.

The dead include three South Koreans, two Nepalis, two Pakistani porters, and one climber each from France, Serbia, Ireland and Norway.

K-2 soars 86-hundred meters into the sky. It is considered more dangerous to climb than Mount Everest, the world's tallest peak.

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