A 48-year-old climber from New Jersey died during a Denali summit attempt Friday evening, according to a news release from the National Park Service.
The man, identified as Fernando Birman, collapsed at 19,700 feet of elevation on Denali, the highest mountain peak in North America. His mountain guides immediately started CPR, but Birman never regained a pulse and he was pronounced dead at the scene, the release said.
According to the release, Birman’s cause of death is unknown, but “consistent with sudden cardiac arrest.”
The climber’s guides helped with the recovery of Birman’s body from the 19,500-foot plateau known as the Football Field. Birman’s body was then transferred to the State of Alaska medical examiner late Friday night, the release said.
Birman is at least the third climber to have died in the park in 2022. His death comes just weeks after a Japanese mountain climber, 43, was presumed dead after falling into a crevasse. And in early May, an Austrian climber went missing and was found dead on the slopes of Denali.
Denali National Park and Preserve consists of six million acres of wilderness in Alaska.
Denali, formerly known as Mount McKinley, measures 20,310 feet, one of the tallest mountains in the world. The summit is notoriously difficult and reaching it often requires a multiweek expedition, according to the National Park Service. The stark Alaska weather, the difficult terrain including multiple glaciers, and the extremely high altitude are all serious challenges for climbers.