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Helicopter pilot and expert in night combats, who was the American who died in Aconcagua


John Magness (58) broke down on his way to the top. Another Norwegian mountaineer had died on Saturday.

Cerro Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas (6,962 meters above sea level), is experiencing a full season, the most important after the pandemic.

More than

60,000 visitors

have arrived since mid-November to carry out different hiking activities, long


, camping at their base camp at 4,300 meters high, and the most risky journey that is the ascent to the summit.

It was a quiet season until the end of January, but as February began, the first two deaths of the year occurred.

On Friday, the

Norwegian athlete Moi Oystein (62)

died , just 400 meters from the summit, in the La Cueva sector.

And, in the early hours of this Sunday, the

American John Michael Magness (58)

, broke down on the way to the top and died before they managed to stabilize him.

Magness was at Camp Independencia, located 6,300 meters above sea level.

His heart could not withstand the extreme effort of a week of climbing and the

consequences of the lack of oxygen

due to the height.

John Magness, the American who died on Cerro Aconcagua, during another ascent in 2019 in the United States.

Photo Twitter

When he lost control, the guide who led his expedition began to give him oxygen and managed to transfer him to the Cóndores nest camp, located 5,500 meters above sea level.

But the attempts to stabilize him did not prosper and the American died around 2 in the morning on Sunday.

John Michael Magness had shared images and stories of his emotion on his social networks before climbing the Colossus of America.

"The best view comes after the hardest climb"

, he republished on his Twitter account @Magnessj a post that had been uploaded by the company Grajales Expeditions, with whom he planned the path to the top.

The American climber worked as an executive in the real estate sector at the Hillwood company, directed by Henry Ross Perot Jr., and was an experienced helicopter pilot.

He belonged to the United States Army.

For 9 years he held senior positions and participated in three armed conflicts.

According to the


newspaper , he was decorated for his duties as commander, staff officer and pilot.

He gave pep talks and had written the 1999 book

Pilot Vision

about his military training.

In his accounts he told that

he fought in the Persian Gulf

, where he commanded a troop of attack helicopters tasked with leading the 7th Corps with the liberation of Kuwait.

And he was an operations officer and pilot for the famed

Task Force 160 Nightstalkers

, an elite special operations aviation unit that uses night vision goggles.

He recounted that he participated in the Battle of the Black Sea in Mogadishu, Somalia and in the conflict in Haiti.

He decided to leave the army to start a family with his girlfriend at the time and he dedicated himself to real estate.

The Rescue patrol transferred Magness's body to the Nido de Cóndores camp and, in the next few hours, it will be transferred by helicopter to the base in Horcones, at the access to Aconcagua Park.

Other rescues in Aconcagua

In addition to these deaths from the 2023 season, two other foreign climbers had to be rescued by patrol personnel when they were also trying to reach the summit.

One of them, 50 years old, from the United States, had symptoms of cerebral edema and was lowered with the assistance of an oxygen tube.

The other, residing in Germany, suffered frostbite in the fingers of his hands, which were completely blue.

Aconcagua has a medical service installed in the Plaza de Mulas camp, which in full season is a small mountaineering town at 4,300 meters above sea level.

Medical emergencies on the highest mountain in America are, in general, falls, frostbite, and severe acute mountain sickness.

Acute mountain sickness, also known as mal de páramo, soroche, apunamiento, puna or mal de puna, is the lack of adaptation of the organism to hypoxia (lack of oxygen) of altitude.

The severity of the disorder is directly related to the rate of ascent and the altitude reached.




look too

A mountaineer from the United States died while climbing Aconcagua

Tragedy in Aconcagua: a Norwegian climber collapsed and died while trying to reach the summit

Source: clarin

All life articles on 2023-02-05

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