Clifton Maloney, the husband of U.S. Representative from New York Carolyn Maloney, has died while climbing in the Himalaya. The millionaire investment banker was 71 years old, and was on Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world, reaching 26,906 feet in height.
Maloney was described as an avid adventurer who was into running, sailing, and climbing. He had competed in the New York City Marathon on 20 occasions and climbed all over the world. After successfully summitting Cho Oyu, he gained the distinction of being the oldest person to achieve that feat.
Following that successful summit, Maloney and his team descended to one of their prepared high camps to rest after a long day at altitude. Reportedly he told one of the other climbers “I am the happiest man in the world. I just climbed a beautiful mountain” before crawling into his sleeping bag for the night. He never woke up, and at this time the exact cause of his death is still unknown.
Located just 12 miles west of Mount Everest, Cho Oyu falls on the border between Nepal and Tibet, and despite its height, it is generally considered the easiest of the fourteen 8000 meter peaks. Because of this, there are numerous guided expeditions to the mountain each year. Maloney was climbing as part of one of these professional expeditions.
Maloney is survived not only by his wife, but two daughters, his mother and sister.