Home News New Jersey Fernando Birman man dies attempting to climb Alaska’s Denali

New Jersey Fernando Birman man dies attempting to climb Alaska’s Denali

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A New Jersey man died Friday evening as he attempted to summit Alaska’s Denali, the tallest peak in North America.

The 48-year-old climber, Fernando Birman, of Stockton, New Jersey, collapsed at about 5:45 p.m. while attempting to scale the mountainside, according to the National Park Service.

Mountain guides immediately started CPR, but were unable to save him. Birman never regained a pulse and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Birman was not far off from reaching the summit before his untimely death — he collapsed at 19,700 feet and Denali’s peak stretches 20,310 feet high.

The National Park Service said his cause of death is unknown, but consistent with sudden cardiac arrest.

Birman’s guides aided in his body’s recovery effort from a 19,500-foot plateau known as the Football Field using a short-haul basket.

His body was transferred to the Alaska medical examiner late Friday night to undergo a full autopsy.

FILE - This April 24, 2016, file photo taken above the Kahiltna Glacier near Denali, shows peaks in the Alaska Range, as seen through the open cargo bay doors of a Chinook helicopter.
Alaska’s Denali is the tallest peak in North America.
AP/Mark Thiessen

The New Jersey man is the third climber to have died in the national park this year.

Last month, a 43-year-old Japanese climber was presumed dead on May when he fell through an ice bridge into a crevasse where he was buried with snow and ice.

On May 6, the body of a 35-year-old Australian climber was found in a notoriously treacherous stretch of the Denali Pass — where 12 others have fallen to their deaths over the years, according to the National Park Service. He had not been heard from since April 30.

It typically takes multiple weeks to reach Denali’s summit and the climb is only recommended for experts with experience in glacier travel, expedition environments and winter camping in arctic conditions, the Nation Park Service advises.

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