February has been a fatal month for mountain sports on the highest hill in America.
In six days,
three deaths occurred in Aconcagua (6.9622 meters high).
The latest victim is the American
Ayn Vincent Day, 39
, who collapsed on Tuesday afternoon, shortly after reaching the summit, at 6,600 meters high,
when he was descending accompanied by a guide.
As reported by the Ministry of Security of Mendoza, the climber suffered the so-called
acute mountain sickness
, due to the lack of oxygen at altitude and the physical effort that this type of climbing requires.
He passed away at 4 a.m. today.
Day had started the ascent to the summit with another climber.
A guide recommended that they not continue climbing
, noting that they were not in optimal health conditions to do so, but the athletes decided to continue.
The guide decided to accompany the duo for prevention.
Once at the summit, one of them began to rave, only recently managing to convince him to descend, according to official information.
As they descended, the climber's physical condition began to deteriorate greatly.
"The guide reached the point of having to drag him, with the
help of supplemental oxygen
," said the police report.
At approximately 10 pm, other guides and patrol personnel came out to help.
They made contact with them on the journey, when they were
6,600 meters above sea level.
The troops placed him on the Sked transfer stretcher and began the descent in
conditions due to the altitude, extreme cold, and hard snow conditions.
Around 4 this Wednesday, in the vicinity of the Independencia refuge (6,300 m), two members of the Police Rescue patrol verified that the American climber
had no vital signs.
At the direction of Dr. Roxana Pronce, the police officers began CPR maneuvers, but were unable to revive him.
Given the adverse weather conditions, the rescuers urgently decided to descend.
Ayn Vincent Day is the third victim of the season that began in mid-November and has been
the most important in visitors after the pandemic
Last 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 Sunday, the American John Michael Magness (58) lost his life, who broke down on the way to the top and died before they managed to stabilize him.
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.
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