U.S. Congreswoman’s husband dies on remote Himalayan peak

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.

North Face Triology Expedition Underway on Cho Oyu

In the High Himalaya the Monsoon has moved on at last and the fall climbing season is well underway, with mountaineering teams already taking up position on the world’s highest peaks as they prepare to make their climbs before the frigid winter sets in.

One such expedition, sponsored by gear company The North Face, has set its goals very high. While most are content with reaching the summit on any one of the very tall mountains in the region, which includes Everest, topping out at 29,029 feet. But for the Cho Oyu Trilogy Expedition the summit is just the start of the adventure.

Cho Oyu is the sixth tallest mountain in the world and falls on the border of Nepal and Tibet. It stands 26,906 feet in height, and sits just ten miles to the west of Everest. It is often regarded as the easiest of the fourteen 8000 meter peaks to climb, which may be why the Trilogy team has decided that after they reach the summit, they needed to add a little more excitement to their expedition.

The plan is for climbers Simone Moro, Elizabeth Hawker, Herve Barmasse, and Emilio Prevatali to summit the mountain along two different routes. Upon reaching the top, Prevatali will climb onto his snowboard and attempt to make his descent along Cho Oyu’s north face, while the rest of the team descends on foot.

Once everyone is safely back in base camp, the second phase of the expedition will begin, with Moro and Hawker putting on running shoes and running all the way back to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, while their companions, Barmasse and Prevatali, make that same journey on mountain bikes. That journey is approximately 275 miles in length, with an average elevation above 15,000 feet, ensuring quite the aerobic workout.

Needless to say, this will be an incredible adventure for the team, and along the way they’ll not only pass through some of the most scenic spots on the planet, they’ll also be exposed to Tibetan culture in the form of tea houses, Buddhist temples, and quaint mountain villages.