Top Russian climber perishes in Himalayan avalanche
A top Russian climber, who scaled many of the world's highest peaks, has died in the Himalayas after being swept away by an avalanche, officials said on Monday.
Sergei Cherezov was caught up by an avalanche when his five-member team from the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk set out to climb the 7,059-metre (23,153-foot) peak Tulagi on Friday.
"Sergei Cherezov got caught up in an avalanche which occurred at an elevation of 6,000 metres," the Krasnoyarsk government said in a statement.
The body of the climber, who was in his early 40s, was brought to the Nepalese capital Kathmandu by helicopter on Sunday.
The rest of the team consisting of the four climbers and a doctor made a decision to cut short their expedition and were returning to Kathmandu by foot.
The body of Cherezov, who is survived by a wife and son, will be flown to Russia as soon as all the necessary paperwork is complete, said the regional department for sports, tourism and youth policies.
The Russian Climbing Federation said the tragedy happened on a "simple snow slope" when the climbers were not tethered to one another and a board slipped from under Cherezov.
The federation said the multiple Russia champion scaled many of the top peaks and called his death "a very heavy loss."
© 2011 AFP