Top US Climber Dies on Mountain in Tibet

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Photo of the Himalayas courtesy of ilkerender on Flickr.

Joe Puryear fell to his death on Tuesday while climbing Labuche Kang, a 24,170-foot mountain in the Himalayas, the Seattle Times reports. The 37-year old fell 1,500 feet when a cornice he was climbing on collapsed.

Puryear became a highly-respected climber in the 1990s, known for his courage and ability to stay calm under pressure. In 1996, the National Park Service hired the Washington state resident as a ranger because he had the climbing skills required to rescue people on Mount Rainier.

“He was an adventurer,” friend and fellow climber Mark Westman told the Times. “His thing wasn't about doing the hardest things in the world, but exploring new terrain.”

–Erin Beresini

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