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Charlotte Fox (2018), survivor of infamous 1996 Everest disaster

by Kirk Fox

First American woman to climb three 8,000-meter peaks…

Charlotte Fox, an experienced climber who survived the infamous 1996 Everest disaster, died from a fall in her home in Colorado at the age of 61, according to multiple news sources.

Alison Osius, executive editor of Rock and Ice magazine and a friend of Fox’s, wrote in an online piece Tuesday that house guests found Fox on the floor of her home when they arrived last Thursday night. 

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Fox apparently fell down the stairs at her Telluride, Colorado home and suffered fatal injuries.

Osius wrote in her piece, “Charlotte had survived so much up high, it was stunning and profoundly sad that she died that evening of May 24 in a household accident.”

The ordeal Fox and other climbers endured on their descent from the summit of Everest in May, 1996 was documented in Jon Krakauer’s best-selling book “Into Thin Air.” Krakauer was on assignment from Outside magazine and was part of the summit descent.


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Several teams were on the summit on May 10, 1996 when a ferocious blizzard stranded climbers in the bitter cold while descending back to base camp.

Eight people died on Everest during the disaster. Fox was a member of the Mountain Madness team led by Scott Fischer. Fischer died on Everest.

Fox and other climbers huddled together during the storm in minus 100 degree wind chill. They were later rescued by others when the storm cleared.

In the book “Into Thin Air, Fox said, “The cold was so painful, I didn’t think I could endure it anymore,” “I just curled up in a ball and hoped death would come quickly.”

Fox was a native of Greensboro, North Carolina. She was well known in the Aspen-Telluride area. She was an accomplished skier and climber who was a former member of the ski patrol team at Snowmass.

The accomplished climber completed the seven summits.

She was married to Reese Martin, who was killed in a paragliding accident in 2004.

Her friend and climbing partner Andrea Cutter told the Aspen Times, “She had a go-for-it attitude.” “With climbing there’s a sense of fear that would hold people back. I would see her get scared but she would work through it.”

We invite you to share condolences for Charlotte Fox in her Guest Book.

 

 

 

 

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