Eric Nourse, 41, of Colorado and David Reinhart, 42, of Portland, Oregon, have died while attempting Aconcagua, 22,841 feet and the highest mountain in the Americas.
The two were climbing with Greg Nourse, twin brother of Eric Nourse, when Reinhart was stricken with altitude sickness. Greg Nourse used a satellite phone to call and say they were in trouble, while Eric Nourse went for help. After spending the night hugging Reinhart to keep him warm, Greg Nourse also left to summon help. Eric Nourse fell ill during his efforts, and both he and Reinhart died.
Although Aconcagua, dubbed “Everyman’s Everest,” is arguably the easiest of the world’s high mountains, it lies just 80 miles from the Pacific Ocean and is subject to extreme weather. Harsh conditions and the altitude make it a dangerous climb—in January 2009 five climbers died.
Reinhart and Eric Nourse were college buddies and had traveled extensively from Denali to the Alps. It is believed they were attempting the Polish Glacier Route, the mountain’s second most popular climb.