A Colorado climber died soon after getting to the top of Mount Everest and achieving his dream of scaling the highest peaks on each of the seven continents, his brother said on Monday.
Christopher Kulish, 62, died on Monday at a camp below the summit during his descent. The cause is not yet known, said his brother, Mark Kulish of Denver. He had just reached the top of Everest with a small group after crowds of hundreds of climbers congested the 8,850-metre peak last week.
“He saw his last sunrise from the highest peak on Earth. At that instant, he became a member of the ‘Seven Summit Club’, having scaled the highest peak on each continent,” Mark Kulish said in a statement.
He described his brother as a lawyer in his “day job” who was “an inveterate climber of peaks in Colorado, the West and the world over”.
“He passed away doing what he loved, after returning to the next camp below the peak,” Mark Kulish said.
Ten other climbers died on Everest last week, including Don Cash of Utah, who also completed the seven summits on his fatal summit bid.
Most of them died while descending from the summit during only a few windows of good weather each May.
A photo went viral of a traffic jam of would be summiteers, that caused climbers to be stuck too long in the “death zone” above 8,000m.
Most are believed to have suffered from altitude sickness, which is caused by low amounts of oxygen at high elevation and can cause headaches, vomiting, shortness of breath and mental confusion.
There are 41 teams with a total of 378 climbers permitted to scale Everest during the spring climbing season. An equal number of Nepalese guides are helping them get to the top.
Christopher Kulish is also survived by his mother, Betty Kulish, and a sister, Claudia.