13 Jun 3 American climbers died in Sichuan
Jonny Copp (age 35), Micah Dash (age 32) and Wade Johnson (age 24) died when attempting a first ascent on a serious alpine wall on Mount Edgar (6818 meters) on the Minya Konka massif in the Western Sichuan Province. They embarked from base camp on May 20, 2009. There hasn’t been any contact with the climbers since.
After the team missed their flight home, on June 3 from Chengdu, China, an international rescue effort went into effect. A small party of experienced climbers, organized through the Sichuan Mountaineering Association, arrived in the area attempting the rescue, in the hope they were trapped somewhere on the mountain. Unfortunately two bodies were found some days later in avalanche debris at 4000 meters.
Copp and Dash were highly experienced alpinists and professional climbers with many years experience tackling big unclimbed mountains around the world. They received the Mugs Stump Award grant for this expedition from the American Alpine Club in 2008 but had to delay the climb until now, due to political unrest in the region.
Johnson (a photographer with Sender Films) was accompanying Dash and Copp to base camp and did not intend to attempt the climb to the summit.