Climber from NJ dies near Denali AK summit


A 48-year-old New Jersey man died Friday, June 3, trying to reach the summit of Denali, Alaska officials report. Guides brought his body down from the peak.

Associated Press file

A 48-year-old climber died Friday, June 3, after collapsing near the summit of Denali, parks officials in Alaska reported.

Fernando Birman of Stockton, New Jersey, collapsed at 19,700 feet on the 20,310-foot peak at 5:45 p.m local time, the National Parks Service said in a news release.

His guides tried to revive him but Birman was pronounced dead, rangers said. His cause of death has not been determined but is “consistent with sudden cardiac arrest.”

Guides assisted with the recovery of his body, the release said.

Birman was part of a 12-person guided team that began its Denali ascent May 22, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Since 1932, 129 climbers have died at Denali National Park, according to the news outlet.

Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.

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