Climber on Denali dies less than 1,000 feet from summit


A New Jersey man attempting to summit Denali in Alaska died less than 1,000 feet from the peak.

Fernando Birman, 46, collapsed suddenly at 19,700 feet on Friday, the National Park Service said in a statement. Denali rises 20,310 feet above sea level, making it the tallest peak in North America.

Birman’s official cause of death has not been determined, but the park service said it was “consistent with sudden cardiac arrest.”

Guides leading Birman and others attempted CPR, but it was unsuccessful. His body was flown down the mountain by a helicopter. He was part of a 12-person expedition.

Birman is at least the third person to die in Denali National Park this year. Climbers from Austria and Japan died last month. Denali’s climbing season traditionally runs from May through July.

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