69-year-old Seattle man dies while climbing Mt. Everest

May 2, 2023, 5:33 PM | Updated: May 3, 2023, 9:22 am

mt. everest...

Mt. Everest is the world's tallest mountain at 29,031 feet. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

A retired Seattle doctor has died while climbing Mt. Everest.

According to Outside Magazine, 69-year-old Johnathan Sugarman died while ascending the world’s highest peak. He was the first American to die on Everest this year. Four people have died during climbs this year.

Sugarman was part of a group led by Pierce County-based International Mountain Guides (IMG). They were at Camp 2 at 21,000 feet when he was reportedly not feeling well.

His cause of death is currently unknown as of this reporting.

How does WA mountain snowpack water supply look this year?

Sugarman was an experienced mountaineer who successfully ascended Aconcagua in Argentina, Denali in Alaska, and Cotopaxi in Ecuador. This was his second attempt at Everest after turning back at 24,000 feet last year.

“I climbed when I was in college, but quit cold turkey when I found myself doing something that had resulted in recent deaths. I realized that I was not appropriately concerned,” Sugarman said in an interview years ago. “I dragged around a climbing rope, harness, and rack for years, though.”

After giving up the sport for decades, he had recently taken it up again and officials said he was well prepared for the climb.

IMG founder Eric Simonson said the death was not caused by a climbing accident or route conditions that could impact the safety of other climbers.

“The rest of the IMG climbing team is all doing as well as can be expected given the circumstances,” Simonson said.

Sugarman and fellow climbers arrived at base camp on April 10, according to the guiding company’s website. They began moving up the 30,000-foot mountain on April 29.

The deadliest avalanche in U.S. history occurred at Stevens Pass

Last September, Seattle native ski mountaineer Hilaree Nelson died after she fell into a crevasse during an expedition in Nepal.

She had reached the top of Manaslu, the eighth tallest mountain in the world at 26,781 feet. An avalanche reportedly swept her off a cliff onto the south face of the mountain.

Local News

seattle mariners clean up...

Frank Sumrall

Seattle MLB All-Star Game ‘Clean-up’ not without controversy

With the MLB All-Star Game coming to Seattle next month, the Seattle Mariners is hosting a Community Clean-Up on June 23 at T-Mobile Park.

17 hours ago

Google Doodle...

Bill Kaczaraba

Bellevue sixth-grader doodles her way to Google champion

Bellevue sixth-grader Rebecca Wu has won the Doodle for Google contest and $30k.

17 hours ago

10-year-old Federal Way...

KIRO 7 News Staff

Family shares details on how 10-year-old survived being lost in the Cascades for 24-hours

The Kittitas Sheriff’s Department released new details on Tuesday on how a Federal Way 10-year-old survived being lost overnight in the Cascades near the Cle Elum River.

17 hours ago

Tacoma power vault...

Heather Bosch

5 arrested for breaking into Tacoma power vault

Tacoma Police say they've arrested five people who were allegedly breaking into a Tacoma power vault on Monday.

17 hours ago

Washington gun restrictions...

Associated Press

Judge rejects attempt to block new Washington state gun restrictions

A federal judge on Tuesday rejected a request to block a new Washington state law banning the sale of certain semi-automatic rifles

17 hours ago

boeing dreamliner...

Bill Kaczaraba

Boeing: New defect on 787 Dreamliner planes

Boeing said its 787 Dreamliner planes may have a new defect, according to CNBC and other business news outlets.

17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

69-year-old Seattle man dies while climbing Mt. Everest