California Man Dies on Everest

May 5, 2011
Outside Magazine

Rick Hitch, a 55-year-old California man, died Sunday on Everest, according to the Folsom (California) Telegraph. Hitch's wife, Loretta, told the Telegraph that he was climbing to Camp 3 with six other climbers and two guides when he collapsed at 23,621 feet. She claims guides tried unsucessfully to revive him for 45 minutes.

Several Sacramento-area news outlets, including ABC's NEWS10, report that Hitch had previously climbed six of the Seven Summits. Everest was his last one.

"I never meant to try to climb Everest," Hitch posted on his blog last month. "I was just going from one mountain to the next." After Hitch summited Argentina's Aconcagua in February 2010, he and his wife discussed Everest. "We talked about the time away from home, the danger, the money, and by the time we got back home [from Argentina] the decision was made. With the support of my wife I decided I had to give Everest a shot."

"I have no regrets," Lorretta Hitch told Sacramento's "If he didn't go he would have regretted it all of his life. And as a wife, if I had asked him not to go and he died at the gym, than I would have a regret," she said.

Hitch's last blog post, dated April 26, said he was back at Everest Base Camp for a four-day rest before his third acclimitazation rotation. "Everything is just about on schedule and I am doing fine."

The Telegraph said Hitch's official cause of death was still unknown.

--Michael Webster

Filed To: Climbing

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