Who Is Christopher Kulish? New Details On The 11th Person To Die On Mount Everest This Year And How He Died

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Who Is Christopher Kulish? New Details On The 11th Person To Die On Mount Everest This Year

Climbing Mount Everest certainly isn't something for everyone. Thank goodness! It's a tremendously dangerous journey, and even those who do make it away with their lives often suffer serious frostbite and some even lose some of their fingers and toes in the process. But there's something else making this climb particularly deadly. When Christopher Kulish died climbing Mount Everest this month, he was the 11th person to die on the mountain this year alone. His tragic death has led many to wonder if there needs to be changes when it comes to deciding who gets to attempt this climb and why. Here's what we know so far. Who is Christopher Kulish?

1. The 11th To Lose Their Life 

Christopher Kulish was an experienced climber from Colorado. The lawyer officially became a member of the Seven Summits club (an exclusive group of men and women who have successfully climbed the tallest points on every continent) once he reached the top of Everest but tragically it was a victory that would prove to be all-too-short-lived in nature. While beginning his descent from Everest, Christopher suffered what is believed to be a massive heart attack. Although he received first aid and all of the medical attention that was available to him on the mountain, Christopher, who turned 62-years-old in April, proved to be impossible to revive. He died, making him the 11th person to die attempting to summit the mountain this year. 

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2. Christopher Kulish 

When you read about climbers dying the tempting thought is to dismiss them as amateurs. Wipe that thought from your mind. The Nepalese government issued 347 permits to climb Everest this year, and Christopher was on the receiving end of one of those permits with good reason. He may have been a lawyer by day, but he was a passionate climber. To make it out to Everest, you have to be.  In the days before his death was known, there was a lot of news from Everest about the potentially more dangerous than usual conditions. There was, you see, a traffic jam of sorts, with people attempting the summit stuck for hours waiting for their turn to climb the next piece of terrain. However, those traveling with Christopher say they were fortunate and that their ascent was not hampered by other climbers in the least. 

3. His Family's Statement 

It goes without saying that Christopher's entire family is deeply mourning his loss. "We are heartbroken by the news. Chris, who turned 62 in April, went up with a very small group in nearly ideal weather after the crowds of last week had cleared Everest. He saw his last sunrise from the highest peak on Earth. At that instant, he became a member of the '7 Summit Club' having scaled the highest peak on each continent," read the statement issued by his family.  An attorney in his 'day job' - he was a climber of peaks in Colorado, the West and the world over. He passed away doing what he loved, after returning to the first camp below the peak. He leaves his mother, Betty ('Timmie') Kulish, a younger sister, Claudia, and a younger brother, Mark," finished the statement given to CBS

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4. Climbers Speak 

Christopher's family aren't the only ones speaking out about the man's experience at Everest. Since he was the second climber to die there in just under 10 days, the climbing organization Climbing the 7 Summits also issued a statement of their own in the hopes that it would further shine a light on what exactly happened to Christopher. 

"Chris climbed strongly throughout summit day in a small team with no crowds and in good weather. He was in good spirits throughout the climb and following his arrival back at the South Col. Initial assessment suggest the cause of death was cardiac arrest however this is unconfirmed. Emergency first aid and rescue procedure were administered at the scene but failed to revive him. Chris was a quintessential lifelong climber who had been mountaineering since he was a teenager. We are proud to have had him as part of our team and are deeply saddened and shocked by his passing," it read. 

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5. The Dangers of Everest 

The perils of climbing Mount Everest have always been extreme. The temperatures are brutally cold, and even the altitude can lead to serious illness and death. If the weather changes and a sudden storm comes out of nowhere, your chances for surviving your summit plummet. But now more and more people are pointing out what they see as other dangers. The "traffic jams" caused by issuing too many permits this climbing season have led some to speculate that the government of Napal is not taking the right amount of gravity when it comes to issuing passes. Each one causes $11,000, making it a great source of income, but along with those dollars should come some care and there are critics who believe that this hasn't been happening. 

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr