The Powerful Letter Dan Fredinburg Carried With Him On Mount Everest

04/27/2015 05:38 pm ET | Updated Apr 27, 2015
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"We'll also know that you've already lived the equivalent of at least 100 lifetimes."

Those were the last words Max Stossel wrote to his friend, Dan Fredinburg.

Fredinburg died in an avalanche while climbing Mount Everest after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal Saturday. Stossel's words were written in one of a handful of letters that Fredinburg, a Google employee and avid adventurer, carried with him from family and friends, wishing him luck on his journey and telling him how much they love him.

His girlfriend, Ashley Arenson, had asked those close to Fredinburg to write letters that he could open at different check points and levels along the way. Stossel is not sure which ones he would have opened when. "It's totally possible, because it's Dan, that he might have read all of them immediately," he told The Huffington Post Monday.

Stossel shared the letter he wrote in a heartbreaking Facebook post Sunday:

Dan, (dan dan dan)

You must be really high up for this written echo (echo echo). Everyone you know and love is eventually going to die (die die die). When we do, we leave behind our stories. Those stories are told and passed on, impacting the lives of others until they are stories (stories stories stories). Your story has already greatly impacted mine for the better. With each adventure you return with stories that most people wouldn't dream of experiencing themselves (selves selves selves). Thank you for pushing the human race to be greater, more daring, and to truly live life rather than survive it (it it it). I love you, brother. Please return safely with stories (stories stories). And even if you don't... We'll all be horrified, saddened, and heartbroken, that we can't create new stories with you, but we'll also know that you've already lived the equivalent of at least 100 lifetimes.

You are a fucking champion.

Safe, wonderful & breathtaking journey.

Love,
Max Stossel (ossel ossel)


Stossel said he shared the letter as a reminder of how amazing Fredinburg was. "He had this incredible hacker mind, finding innovative ways to solve problems," he told HuffPost. "He used that mind to bring more love into the world, more adventure into the world, and create those experiences for the people he cared about."

Fredinburg, who joined Google in 2007, had gone on multiple Mount Everest expeditions, photographing the region for Google Street View, the New York Times noted. The company released a statement confirming his death and reporting that the three other Google employees who were also on the hike are safe. A Crowdrise campaign honoring his life is raising money for two Nepalese orphanages Fredinburg had been dedicating his climb to.

Actress Sophia Bush, who dated Fredinburg, posted a touching tribute to him on Instagram Saturday.

There are no adequate words. Today I find myself attempting to pick up the pieces of my heart that have broken into such tiny shards, I'll likely never find them all. Today I, and so many of my loved ones, lost an incredible friend. Dan Fredinburg was one-of-a-kind. Fearless. Funny. A dancing robot who liked to ride dinosaurs and chase the sun and envision a better future for the world. His brain knew how to build it. His heart was constantly evolving to push himself to make it so. He was one of my favorite human beings on Earth. He was one of the great loves of my life. He was one of my truest friends. He was an incredible brother, a brilliant engineer, and a damn good man. I'm devastated and simultaneously so deeply grateful to have known and loved him, and to have counted him as one of my tribe. I was so looking forward to our planned download of "all the things" when he got home. I am crushed that I will never hear that story. I am crushed knowing that there are over 1,000 people in Nepal suffering this exact feeling, knowing that they too will never hear another tale about an adventure lived from someone that they love. Disasters like this are often unquantifiable, the enormity is too much to understand. Please remember that each person who is now gone was someone's Dan. Please remember that our time on this Earth is not guaranteed. Please tell those you love that you do. Right now. This very minute. And please send a kiss to the sky for my friend Dan. His energy is so big and so bright, and it's all around us, so put some love toward him today. And then hug your loved ones again. #goodbyesweetfriend #savetheice #Nepal #AdventureswithDAN

A photo posted by Sophia Bush (@sophiabush) on

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