Richard Hidalgo, one of Peru’s leading mountaineers, has been found dead in his tent on the world’s fifth highest peak, Makalu (8,485m). The 52-year-old experienced climber was attempting the peak without supplemental oxygen or support.
Other climbers in the area say Hidalgo entered camp two at 6,500 metres on May 7 at around 9 p.m. On the morning of May 8, Sherpas checked his tent and found him dead from an unknown cause.
“The guides said that it seemed he had died in his sleep. We are figuring out how to bring his body back,” Mingma Sherpa of Seven Summit Treks told AFP.
Hidalgo had been posting comments about his climb on social media on Tuesday. He was an IFMGA mountain guide who’d climbed six 8,000-metre peaks: Cho Oyu, Annapurna, Broad Peak, Shishapangma, Gasherbrum II and Manaslu. He was hoping to climb the world’s seven highest peaks by 2021 without supplemental oxygen, the year of the bicentennial of Peru’s independence.
Hidalgo’s death comes two weeks after Malaysian climber Wui Kin Chin, 49, was rescued from Annapurna after spending 40 hours stranded in the open at 7,500 metres, close to the summit. He died a week later in a Singapore hospital.
May 8 also marks the 42nd anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Everest without supplementary oxygen by Austrian Peter Habeler and South Tyrolean Reinhold Messner.