31-year-old Federico Campanini, an experienced mountain tour guide, was one of two people killed while hiking the highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere. The accident occurred Thursday on Mount Aconcagua near the town of Mendoza, Argentina.
Todd and Anne Christensen of Park City are coping with the death of their son-in-law Federico
â€œWe just never thought it would ever happen,â€ Anne said.
â€œHe's just a tremendous person,â€ Todd said. â€œHe's one of these kind of guys that you're just better being around.â€
Fede, as he was called by his family, was leading a group of 5 hikers down the mountain.
â€œThey had made the summit and they were on their descent down, and a storm came in,â€ Todd said.
Todd says the storm was disorienting. The group ended up hiking on the wrong side of the mountain which was the glacier side. Then one of the women in the group fell into a crevasse.
Todd says Fede hiked back up to radio for help. There was a risk in that decision. At that altitude you have to move extremely slow due to a lack of oxygen.
â€œBetween the oxygen problem, and the ascent and descent, claimed his life,â€ Todd said.
Fede died after suffering from pulmonary oedema and hypothermia.
Three survivors were rescued but Fede's body is still on the mountain. Rescuers believe they may not be able to remove the other person who died.
His wife Amber is en route to Argentina to claim his body. â€œFede's, they're actually bringing him down Monday because it was just too hard to get him,â€ Todd said.
Todd and Anne say Fede leaves behind a legacy of laughter, hard work, and love of the simple things in life.
â€œHe was just a gentle, gentle man, he just made everybody better,â€ Todd said.
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- Jim Davies
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About this incident, January 10th
Climbing at altitude is like hitting your head against a brick wall — it's great when you stop. -- Chris Darwin
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