The Pico de Orizaba, popular among climbers. The Pico de Orizaba, popular among climbers.

US diplomat killed climbing Orizaba

A fellow climber was rescued yesterday and airlifted off the mountain

A United States diplomat died on the weekend while climbing Mexico’s highest mountain, but his companion was rescued yesterday.

Rescue efforts began Sunday but had to be suspended after a few hours when strong winds prevented the use of a helicopter.

However, a Puebla Civil Protection rescue team was able to reach the scene on foot where they provided aid to one of the climbers, who had been seriously injured in a fall.

Yesterday afternoon, Nathan Cahill, 26, was airlifted to a hospital in Mexico City.

Rescue workers recovered the body of the second climber, identified as Freddy Cahill, who had also fallen, and brought him down from the mountain on foot this morning.

Today the U.S. embassy said the climbers were members of its diplomatic mission.

A source who requested anonymity said the climbers had neglected to provide information regarding the route they would be following on the mountain to any state or municipal authority.

In November, a U.S. climber died and seven others were rescued on the mountain, also known as Citlaltépetl.

Local authorities previously warned of dangerous conditions due to an unusually cold winter and the need to let local authorities know climbers’ plans before ascending.

At 5,675 meters high, the Pico de Orizaba has become a favorite destination for national and international climbers. It is situated on the border between Puebla and Veracruz.

Source: La Jornada (sp), Associated Press (en)

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