Everest: climber in fatal collapse near camp 3

Posted: May 04, 2011 02:34 am EDT

(Newswire) According to two local California news sources, Rick Hitch, 55, died Sunday on Mt. Everest.

Wife Loretta Hitch reportedly told media Monday that Hitch, climbing with IMG, collapsed en route to Camp 3. Cause of death is still unknown and at the time of this publishing, IMG official website had not yet confirmed the news.

Prior to departure, the climber and his wife told Roseville Press Tribune they would celebrate their wedding anniversary during his Everest climb. Climbing the seven summits, the Hitches were reportedly in Australia in October for Ricks climb up Kosciuszko when their middle daughter, Cory, passed away at 25. Rick canceled his future climbs at first, but then decided to follow through and climbed Vinson in December.

The mountaineer kept a blog on Everest. His last entry was posted last Tuesday, April 26th, as he prepared for the 3rd and final rotation. "Our last rotation was on Everest herself," he wrote, describing a difficult climb to camp 1, camp 2 and camp 3 (possibly a typo) in four days.

"Everything is just about on schedule and I am doing fine," the former business man wrote back in BC, adding he was reading a book about the beginnings of In & Out Burgers.

"If you see Loretta," ended the dispatch, "give her a big HIGH FIVE, she was awesome."

Rick Hitch is survived by his wife and two daughters.

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