Boulder attorney reached Mount Everest summit, then died during descent

KIRK MITCHELL | The Denver Post
Chris Kulish with Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse in the background.
Denver Post file photo

Boulder attorney Christopher Kulish achieved a life’s goal by climbing the highest peak in each of the planet’s seven continents when he summited Mount Everest — and then died early Monday morning shortly afterward during his descent.

“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,” his brother, Mark Kulish of Denver, said in a news release on Monday.

“We are heartbroken at this news,” Mark Kulish wrote.

Kulish, who turned 62 in April, died early Monday morning at the next camp below the summit on the southeast ridge, his brother said. He had scaled the world’s highest peak in a small group in nearly ideal weather after last week’s crowds had cleared Everest, his brother said.

His death marked the 11th fatality on Everest this season after a record 381 permits were issued to climb Everest, according to The Associated Press. Another American, Don Cash, 55, of Utah, died there last week, AP reported. Most are believed to have suffered from altitude sickness, which is caused by low amounts of oxygen at high elevation and can cause headaches, vomiting, shortness of breath and mental confusion.

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